For the second time in 12 days, the Rivermen will travel to the South Surrey Arena to play the Eagles. In fact, it will be the last time the two squads will face off against each other on the olympic sized ice surface this season. After winning the first game there on September 23rd in double overtime, times have been tough for the Rivermen with regards of coming away with a win at the SSA. The Eagles have won the last two games in their own barn against the ‘Riv, and have been a force on home ice all season long with a record of 18-3-2-3. The Eagles lead the season series with four wins and two losses and have won the last two games with the most recent win coming in a close 3-2 double overtime win on February 11th. Tonight’s contest will be the seventh meeting overall.
In the standings, the Eagles are one of three BCHL teams to have already clinched a playoff spot. They are the top team in the Coastal Conference with 73 points and are on a six game win streak and have remarkably picked up at least a point in their last 16 games. The Rivermen on the other hand are still looking to crawl out of eighth place and can do that tonight if they can get two points. They have played the least amount of games out of any team in the BCHL and will start to catch up in games played relatively quick as the team will play five games in the next seven days starting tonight.
The team is right on the cusp of breaking out. They have been rotating match-ups between Surrey and Cowichan Valley in the past four games which is no easy task to begin with as they are both playoff teams. However, this young Rivermen team have been keeping the games close and have only been outscored 12-8 in the past three games, which is good considering these are two teams (Cowichan Valley and Surrey) that have combined to score 377 goals on the season. If the Rivermen play a full 60 minutes and don’t allow the Eagles to free wheel on the big ice, their chances will be good tonight. Surrey is at their best when they have time and space and have proved that in previous meetings with the Rivermen. Staying out of the penalty box is another “must” against this highly skilled Eagles squad as they are ranked second in the Coastal Conference with a 21.49% PP rating. The coaching staff has shuffled the deck with the lines once more. The Puskarich-Campbell-Griener line stays in tact, but there is new look lines in Sutliffe-Plevy-Playfair and McMullen-Tebbutt-Dyck. Pare and Tracy will have a left winger rotating in with them on the fourth line as the team will roll 11 forwards and 7 defensemen.
The game will be at 7 PM at the South Surrey Arena and can be heard live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey.
September 23rd @SSA- Langley 3 – Surrey 2 OT
September 24th @LEC-Surrey 5 – Langley 2
September 30th @ SSA-Surrey 2 – Langley 1
November 30th @ LEC- Langley 6 – Surrey 1
February 1st @ LEC-Surrey 8 – Langley 2
February 11th @ SSA- Surrey 3 – Langley 2 OT
Leading Scorers in the season series in the 6 meetings:
Langley: Puskarich- 5 goals, 1 assists…..Tebbutt- 2 goals, 3 assists…..Dyck- 3 assists
Surrey: B.Morley- 3 goals, 5 assists…..Stenerson- 2 goals, 4 assists…..T.Morley- 3 goals, 4 assists…..McGovern- 4 goals