Less than 24 hours after arguably the biggest trade in Rivermen history, the team will play with their new look line-up tonight. Both Evan Anderson and Turner Popoff will be in the line-up against Surrey this evening. Anderson will wear Pellah’s old #17, while Popoff will stay with his # 25 which he wore in Alberni Valley.
After not playing against each other for the first 48 days of the season, tonight’s contest will mark the third meeting in just seven days. It is a big game with regards to the standings as Langley is just one point back of Surrey for fourth place. Last weekend home ice advantage was a big factor in the home and home set between the clubs as the home team won both games. The Eagles are going to be without one of their top gunners on defense tonight. Devon Toews has made Team Canada West for the upcoming World Junior “A” Challenge and will be with them for the next few weeks. Unfortunately for Michael Stenerson, who was on Canada West last year, he did not make the final cut and will dress tonight. That line of Stenerson, Hannoun, and Shaw were a big threat last weekend whenever they were on the ice combining for 11 points and looks like they will be paired together tonight. However the Rivermen’s line of Puskarich, Campbell, and McLain were a bit better on the stats sheet combining for 16 points last weekend against Surrey and got 11 of those in Saturday night’s win.
Surrey Eagles- 4th place in Mainland: GP: 15 Wins: 8 Losses: 6 Tie: 0 OTL: 1 Points: 17 GF: 47 GA: 50 Diff: -3
Langley Rivermen- 5th place in Mainland: GP: 16 Wins: 7 Losses: 7 Tie: 0 OTL: 2 Points: 16 GF: 55 GA: 52 Diff: +3
Langley Rivermen- PP-4th place 15/75=20.00%, PK-5th place 13/83= 84.34%
Surrey Eagles- PP-11th place 15/81= 18.52%, PK-15th place 15/62= 75.81%
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley Rivermen: Mario Puskarich– How can you not go with the reigning BCHL player of the week? Puskarich led all BCHL skaters last week notching four goals and three assists, including a hat trick against the ‘Birds on Saturday night. He now sits in fourth place in league scoring with 21 points and is tied for third place in-goal scoring with 11.
Surrey Eagles: Demico Hannoun– Like Puskarich, he wears #18 and leads his team in scoring. The second year winger has gotten off to a fantastic start and leads the team in assists and points. He is a versatile player out on the ice and has taken a big step in his development from his 16-year-old year a season ago.
The Rivermen have had trouble keeping the puck out of their net of late. Last weekend the team let in a combined 13 goals and the starting goaltender on Friday and Saturday did not last the whole game. Turner Popoff will help keep pucks out of the net as he is a very reliable player defensively as you will see tonight. As for the goaltending match-up, if i was a betting man I would say James Barr will face Michael Santaguida. Both netminders squared off against one another last Friday, with Santaguida coming out on top. It is a 7:15 PM Puck drop from the Langley Events Centre. The game can be seen live at http://www.fasthockey.com or if you prefer free audio it is available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey.