The Rivermen will look to close out their first Interior road trip tonight with a victory in Salmon Arm. After a disappointing loss in Merritt last night, the boys already seemed determined to take their collective anger out on the Silverbacks. The ‘Backs were one of two teams who had the night off yesterday and should be fresh when the game starts tonight. This will be the first of two meetings on the year, with the next one happening in Langley on January 25th at the Langley Events Centre.
The Silverbacks are currently in last place in the BCHL with a 1-4 record to date and should be pretty desperate coming out of the gates tonight. It has been an interesting start for Salmon Arm this season. Their Head Coach/GM Troy Mick stepped down from his coaching role after the Showcase to focus on the Hockey Operations side of it more. Mick then brought in former BCHL Coach of the Year Scott Robinson as the new bench boss. Robinson was most recently the Head Coach of the Dawson Creek Rage of the NAHL since 2010, but then folded this season. Unlike the Rivermen, the ‘Backs have struggled putting the puck in the net. Only seven players have recorded at least a point and as a team as a whole they have only scored four goals in five games and have yet to score on home ice. They have also been shutout a league high three times already. As I mentioned in last night’s blog post, the difference in the game last night for Langley was not capitalizing on their chances. I am sure if they have those type of glorious opportunities tonight, they will make them count. In the special teams department the Silverbacks are in last place scoring just once in 22 opportunities, while the Rivermen remain in 4th place with a 9/33 pace. A bright spot in ‘Backs country is their penalty killing which is ranked 4th, while Langley is in the nine-hole.
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley: Trevor Cope continues to stay hot as he has recorded at least a point in all five games. He kept his point streak alive with 47 seconds to go in the third when he set up Evan Campbell from behind the goal on a picture perfect pass to him in the slot. Campbell has been fantastic since his return to the line-up as he has two goals and three assists in the last two contests. If I had to guess I would say James Barr gets the start in-goal tonight and why not by the way he played last night. Barr has been nothing short of stellar since the tough loss he suffered September 9th against PG.
Salmon Arm:Reading Scott Campbell’s Silverback blog, it looks like Brock Balson will make his season debut tonight. Balson recorded 19 points in 20 games last year for the ‘Backs and will be a welcome addition to a goal starved squad. His last BCHL game was 10 months ago in Chilliwack, so we will see how long it takes for him to adapt. Adam Clark is poised to get the start in-goal tonight. Clark earlier in the week committed to the University of New Hampshire and has a 1-2 record to date. He is a hulking goaltender at 6’5″, 210 pounds and stoned the Rivermen in the only meeting of the season last year stopping 46 shots in a 5-4 OT win.
WHERE TO TUNE IN?:
The game can be seen on Fast Hockey PPV at http://www.fasthockey.com or for free audio visit our free U-stream channel at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey . We apologize for the technical difficulties last night and we are working out the kinks as we speak at the hotel. Puck drop is at 7:00 pacific from the Shaw Centre.