Well well well…..How can the Rivermen possibly top last nights win against Coquitlam? I guess by beating the Mainland’s top dog? The ‘Men will sure try as they will play host to the Chilliwack Chiefs for the first time in the history of the franchise. These two teams have locked horns twice this season with the Chiefs getting the better of the Rivermen in both games. Back on October 10th, Chilliwack had that monumental comeback in the third period down three goals and won 4-3. A month later the Chiefs won more convincingly 5-1. I am sure a lot of Langley fans are still buzzing over the performance of Puskarich, Campbell, and Robinson last night. The deadly trio racked up a combined 17 points and was one of those nights where everything they touched turned into gold. I am sure they will be a focus point for the Chiefs tonight to say the least.
It will be a home-coming of sorts for their coach Harvey Smyl as he was the bench boss of the Langley Chiefs for five seasons. He had some very good teams in his tenure piling up four seasons of 30 wins or more. Austin Plevy will play in front of his hometown for the first time in a Chiefs uniform. The Langley native has been enjoying a fantastic year ranked ninth in BCHL scoring. Josh Hansen is another player that will be playing back in his old rink. He played under Smyl in the last year the Chiefs were in Langley and put up nine goals and seven assists in his rookie campaign. He had those numbers by the end of October this season and is enjoying a career year with 18 goals to date.
The Chiefs were in action last night as well and shut out the Nanaimo Clippers despite being out shot 40-28. Ho-hum another shut out for Mitch Gillam.
Langley: 5th place in Mainland. Wins: 11 Losses: 13 Tie: 0 OTL: 5 Points: 27 GF: 96 GA: 93
Chilliwack: 1st place in Mainland. Wins: 20 Losses: 8 Tie: 1 OTL: 1 Points: 42 GF: 101 GA: 73
Langley: PP- 9th place 19.70%, PK- 4th place 82.64%
Chilliwack: PP- 4th place 22.30%, PK- 1st place 87.35%
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley: Mario Puskarich, Evan Campbell, and James Robinson. Can i pick three? See last night’s boxscore.
Chilliwack: Austin Plevy. I am sure he will be jacked up to play his former team in his hometown. He is one of the most electrifying players in the BCHL with his speed and skill. If he has time and space he will make you pay. He is extra dangerous on the power play as he leads the team with eight PPG’s.
It is no fluke that the Chiefs are in first place. They are in the top five in special teams in both power play and penalty kill percentage. They have one of the best goaltenders in the BCHL, and a great top line. I am nearly done this blog post and I have yet to even mention Luke Esposito . The nephew of Mark Messier is having an unbelievable rookie year as he leads the team in scoring. He was the BCHL top scorer before last night’s game started, but Puskarich took over that spot with his six point night.
Emotions will be riding high and the Chiefs will have some good fan support as they are bringing two bus loads of fans to the game. I want to believe it will be James Barr going up against Mitch Gillam in between the pipes tonight. After both of their solid performances last night, I wouldn’t see why not.
It will be a 7:15 PM puck drop from the Langley Events Centre. Another big two points is up for grabs and Langley is now just four points back of the Express for fourth place. The Fasthockey feed will be back up and running tonight, but if you prefer free audio go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey.