It feels like it has been an eternity since the Rivermen last laced up to play a game in the BCHL. Okay it has only been eight days between games, but it has been a very long eight days for the team as that sour Island road trip still lingers its ugly head from two weekends ago. After a good hard week of practices for the ‘Men I think it is safe to say they are chomping at the bit to drop the puck. Especially at the Langley Events Centre where they have been dominant this season picking up seven of their nine wins to date.
This will be the fourth meeting of the season between the ‘Men and ‘Birds. Surrey holds a 2-1 win advantage, but all three games have been close with scores of 5-3 Eagles(October 26th), 6-5 Langley(October 27th), and 2-1OT Surrey(November 1st). Since that last meeting 26 days ago, the Eagles have started to pull away from the Rivermen as they now have a 10 point cushion in the standings. The Rivermen are currently on a three game losing skid as their road woes continued on their last Island road trip. For the first time this season, the ‘Men now hold a below .500 record. The Eagles on the other hand are coming off a very successful weekend up in Prince George as they won both games against the Spruce Kings on Friday and Saturday night with both victories coming in overtime. In fact, in the nine games the Eagles have played in November, five of them needed overtime and they have won four out of five. Overall this season the ‘Birds have played overtime a whopping 10 times already and have a 8-2 record in the extra frame. The Rivermen need to get their special teams back on track if they want to get back in the win column tonight. Last weekend the power play went 1/15, while the penalty kill was a disappointing 6/17.
Langley: 5th place in Mainland- GP: 23 Wins: 9 Losses: 10 Tie: 0 OTL: 4 Points: 22 GF: 71 GA: 77
Surrey: 2nd place in Mainland- GP: 24 Wins: 15 Losses: 7 Tie: 0 OTL: 2 Points: 32 GF: 72 GA: 66
Langley: PP- 13th place 18/105= 17.14, PK- 3rd place 20/115=,82.61%
Surrey: PP- 11th place 20/107=18.69%, PK- 10th place 18/85= 78.82%
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley: Austin Azurdia. The Wenatchee product has only one point in November thus far. That is very Un-Azurdia like especially with his speed and skill. He is due for a break out game and I have a feeling he will get it going tonight especially giving his speedy legs an eight-day break from action.
Surrey: Michael Santaguida. He is the reigning BCHL player of the week. He picked up both Eagles wins last weekend up in PG and only allowed three goals on 67 shots. The rookie netminder is small at 5’9″, 175 pounds, but does not play like it at all as he is very quick in the crease.
If there is one thing we know, it is that the Rivermen are going to be fresh when the puck drops tonight. Points are at a premium right now as the team are five points back of Coquitlam for fourth place and have two games in hand against the Express. One major key for the Rivermen will be keeping the Eagles top line of Hannoun-Stenerson-Shaw in check if they want a chance to win tonight. Those three have been a dangerous trio not only against the Rivermen this year, but against the entire league since they were formed as a line back in middle October. It will be a 7:15 puck drop from the LEC and will be live on http://www.fasthockey.com and on http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey. The promotion tonight is “Movember to Remember” at the rink, so bring out your ‘Stache and enjoy the game!