Eric Welsh – Chilliwack Progress
The Chiefs staved off elimination in their first round playoff series, beating the Langley Rivermen 2-1 Tuesday night at the George Preston Arena in Langley.
Still trailing 3-1 in the best-of-seven series with zero margin for error, Chilliwack comes home for game five knowing they need three straight wins to stay alive.
All the scoring in Tuesday’s game came in the second period.
Chiefs forward Brett Willits opened the scoring at 2:35, scoring on a Chilliwack power play.
Three defenceman worked together to double the lead at 7:07, with Max Wutzke and Mitch Andres drawing assists on a goal by Nathan Kelly.
Wutzke made his first appearance of the playoffs, checking into the lineup while Colton Kitchen checked out.
Chilliwack head coach Brian Maloney made a change at forward as well. Seeking more grit, he installed Chase Nameth in the lineup at the expense of Carter Wilkie.
The most welcome news for the Chiefs was the bounceback effort from goaltender Daniel Chenard.
The netminder was pulled after 20 minutes in game three, having given up three goals on 10 shots. Chenard faced pucks in game five, 19 in the third period alone, and stopped 38.
Matteo Pecchia was the lone Langley goal scorer, slipping a shot behind the goalie 67 seconds after Kelly’s tally.
The Rivermen pressed big time in the final frame, and had keeper Braedon Fleming on the bench for an extra attacker in the final minute, but the Chiefs weathered the storm and will return to home ice for game five Thursday night, 7 p.m. at Prospera Centre.