It is game #59 for the Rivermen tonight and it will be in a place where they are winless…….The Island Savings Centre. It will be the seventh and final meeting of the season between the ‘Men and ‘Caps and Cowichan supports a perfect 6-0 record in the series. It will be the Capitals last game of the regular season and are red hot of late riding a five game win streak. It is a massive contest for the home side because with a win tonight and a Powell River loss, they will be in first place with 81 points and will assure themselves home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Playoff seeding is coming down to the wire as Powell River is in the driver seat right now being one point up on Cowichan Valley for second place and do have a game in hand and are only one back of first place Surrey who have played all of their games. The Kings still have two games left. For the Langley side, with a win tonight and a Victoria loss, they will leap frog the Grizzlies for seventh place and will assure themselves of not finishing in eighth place.
The most recent game between the Rivermen and Capitals occured on February 25th at the “big stick”. The Capitals were flying that night and gave the Rivermen all they could handle and were able to skate away with a 4-0 win. Nic Renyard made his first career BCHL start in that game for Langley and was spectacular facing 50 shots, but was in a losing cause.
The Capitals for my money have been the most impressive team I have seen from the Coastal Conference all year long. They are big,fast and have arguably the deepest team from the goaltenders out. Devin Gannon and Matt Brown have been outstanding all year long and had a great game last night combining for seven points in a 9-4 ‘Caps win in
Alberni Valley. The Rivermen on the other hand are looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss last night in Victoria where the Grizzlies pulled off the victory with just 49 seconds remaining in the third period. Mario Puskarich was Langley’s best skater picking up two goals and an assist and has points in six straight games.
The Island Savings Centre is always a hostile environment for any squad to play in. The fans are loud and very passionate and are constanlty on the opposition (can hear them on the broadcast right behind me) and make things very tough for the away team. Expect James Barr to get his final start of the season, making way for Jim Kruger to play in the finale tomorrow afternoon.
It will be a 7:30 PM puck drop from Duncan and can be heard live (Please internet hold up!) at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey .
December 3rd @ Langley Events Centre- Cowichan Valley 5 – Langley 2
December 10th @ Island Savings Centre- Cowichan Valley 8 – Langley 5
December 28th @ Langley Events Centre- Cowichan Valley 6 – Langley 1
February 9th @ Langley Events Centre- Cowichan Valley 3 – Langley 2
February 17th @ Langley Events Centre- Cowichan Valley 6 – Langley 4
February 25th @ Island Savings Centre- Cowichan Valley 4 – Langley 0
Leading Scorers in season series (6 games):
Langley: Dyck- 4 goals, 1 assist…..Sutliffe- 2 goals, 1 assist…..Tracy- 1 goal, 3 assists…..Campbell– 2 goal, 1 assist…..
Cowichan Valley: Gannon: 4 goals, 10 assists…..Charles: 3 goals, 6 assists…..Brown: 4 goals, 3 assists…..