The Rivermen and Clippers will lock horns for the first time this season. It will be the first of two meetings on the season and I hope you enjoy it as the next one will not be until February 17th. The Rivermen are coming off a win in their last game on Saturday night over the Coquitlam Express. The team continued their very strong play at the Langley Events Centre, but are still looking to get it together on the road as they have just one win away from the LEC to date. The Clippers have been average at the Frank Crane Arena this season with a 6-4-0-1 record and have already played this week, which was on Wednesday in Alberni Valley and lost 4-2. Nanaimo has been enjoying a very good season so far as they currently sit in second place in the Island Division and are just one point back of first place. However they are not the most dangerous team offensively as have only scored 10 goals in their last five games (two goals in each game) and have just one player (Greg Fraser) with a point per game average. Also the power play has not helped them at all as it is ranked dead last in the BCHL with a 12.36% ratio. On the flip side they have been dominant defensively only allowing seven goals in their last five contests and are a defensive minded team first and foremost by all accounts. Speaking of defense, the Rivermen will be without the services of Aaron Dolby for the next little while as he is out with an upper body injury that he suffered last Saturday. That is a big blow considering the rookie has been playing very consistent all year long and leads the defense in scoring with nine points.
Nanaimo: 2nd place in Island Division, GP: 21 Wins: 12 Losses: 7 Tie: 0 OTL: 2 Points: 26 GF: 60 GA: 58 Diff: +2
Langley: 5th place in Mainland Division, GP: 20 Wins: 9 Losses: 8 Tie: 0 OTL: 3 Points 21 GF: 66 GA: 62 Diff: +4
Langley: PP- 7th place, 19.10% PK- 3rd place, 85.71%
Nanaimo: PP- 16th place, 12.36% PK- 7th place, 81.13%
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley: James Robinson. Although snake bitten the whole year and still looking for his first BCHL goal, he has been doing just about everything on the ice but score. In the first period on Saturday night, the Alberta native had an assist, a fight, and a penalty shot and was dangerous throughout not only the opening frame, but the entire 60 minutes. If Robinson did not have bad luck, he would have no luck at all and sometimes you can’t help but chuckle at the breaks he has been getting. I have a hunch that in one of these three upcoming games on the weekend he will be coming home on the ferry on Sunday with the puck he scored his first BCHL goal with. You heard it here first.
Nanaimo: Jayson Argue. He is the reigning BCHL player of the week. He helped the Clippers to a couple of 2-1 wins last weekend and had a save percentage of .972 and a goals against average of .094 in the two games. However, on Wednesday in Alberni Valley he faced 25 shots and let in three and took the loss. Look for him to rebound tonight.
This will be the second time this season Langley will play three games in three days. It did not go so well the first time with a 1-2 record from October 26th-28th. For a lot of players on the team it will be the first time they will make a trip to the Vancouver Island. They will have to adapt quickly to the hostile environments they will play in or else they will be in for some long nights let me tell ya. Once again these are big games coming up as the ‘Men are right on the heels of the Coquitlam Express down only two points with a game in hand. If they can play anything like they do at home they should be alright. Only if it was that easy…