Rivermen climb to second in EOSHL West

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

ARNPRIOR – What a difference a couple of weeks make.

Two weeks ago, the Arnprior Rivermen (4-3-1) were on the outside of the Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League (EOSHL) West Division playoff picture. After a big 5-3 win over the Smith Falls Rideaus (4-5-0) the Rivermen suddenly find themselves on their first winning streak of the season and all alone in second place in the six-team EOSHL West Division.

The Rivermen leap-frogged the Rideaus after last Saturday’s win and leapfrogged the Deseronto Bulldogs (4-4-0) the week before that.

Rivermen coach Mike Byrne says the win and the beginning of what the Rivermen hope will be a long winning streak.

A photo of two players skating.
Rivermen Dan Johnson leads the rush in last Saturday’s game. Photo by Jake Davies

“It feels incredible,” Byrne told West Carleton Online Tuesday (Nov. 15). “We were short a couple of bodies but were able to pull through. Full credit to our defence, as well, as we went with four the entire game and they were great. Beating a division rival, especially a team as skilled as Smiths Falls, is always a good feeling.”

Wakefied, QC’s, Ryan Peck opened the scoring for the Rivermen in the first. The Rideaus took a 2-1 lead early in the second but the Rivermen would score three goals straight with a powerplay goal from John Enright, and Anthony Mcveigh and Luke Peck scoring in the third. The Rideaus would get one back before Cole Peck finished the game off with an empty net goal.

Rivermen goalie Patrick Killeen earned his third win for the Rivermen after getting his first start of the season on Nov. 5. The Almonte native with Ontario Hockey League experience is now 3-0 with a 3.67 goals against average and .930 save percentage for the Rivermen. He even picked up an assists in the game against the Rideaus.

“Killeen has been nothing short of incredible for us, and I think his 3-0 record shows that,” Byrne said. “With that said, we have confidence in all of our goaltenders, which I believe to be one of our strong points. However, given the number of shots faced the last two games, it is safe to say Killeen may have stolen those for us.”

The Rivermen are off to Deseronto this Saturday (Nov. 19) to take on the Bulldogs. With things so tight in the EOSHL West standings, a loss can mean a lot. The Bulldogs are only one point behind the Rivermen, tied with two others for third place in the west.

“We’re going to have to continue to work hard, and focus on our defensive zone,” Byrne said. “While we do have numerous road games, some of them are short trips for the players located in Ottawa, so I’m not too worried about the travel playing into it. But the more bodies we have on the roster each night, the more rested our players will be.”

The Gananoque Islanders are in first in the west with a 6-1-0 record. The Rivermen return home Saturday, Nov. 26 for a 7:30 p.m. match against those Islanders.

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