A depleted Victoria Grizzlies squad saw their season come to an end in Langley on Friday night.
The fourth-seed Rivermen defeated the fifth-seed Grizzlies 5-3 to win the best-of-seven opening-round B.C. Hockey League Coastal Conference series four games to one.
Defenceman Isack Bandu led the Grizzlies offence with two goals. Kalen Szeto had a goal and assist. Joseph Messina had a goal and three assists on a four-point night for the Rivermen.
The Grizzlies were again without three injured defencemen in Clark Hiebert, who led all BCHL defencemen in scoring, Eli Barnett and Michael Adamek.
The Rivermen joined the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Nanaimo Clippers in the second-round of the Coastal Conference playoffs. The conference top-ranked Bulldogs beat the eighth-seed Cowichan Valley Capitals and the third-seed Clippers defeated the sixth-seed Surrey Eagles in opening-round four-game sweeps. Alberni will now host the Rivermen in the second round.
The second-seed Chilliwack Chiefs lead the seventh-seed Coquitlam Express 3-2 in the remaining first-round Coastal Conference series