Tonight will mark the first game of the new year for the Langley Rivermen and they sure hope they pick up right where they left off at the end of 2012. Tonight will be the fourth game of the season series between the two teams and it has been all Chiefs who have taken all three games. Chilliwack is coming off a 5-3 win at home against Coquitlam last night, which was good news for the ‘Men who are only one point back of the Express with three games in hand. The Chiefs are still the top dogs in the Mainland division, but only by a single point as the Surrey Eagles are only one behind them.
Most of the attention the past little while has been going to the top line of Puskarich, Campbell, and Robinson and rightfully so. However, last weekend the line of Sutliffe, Reichert, and McLain was probably the most productive combination. Those three combined for a quiet 13 points and were a big reason why the team picked up all four points against Coquitlam. Secondary scoring will have to continue to chip in if the team wants to continue winning and make the post season.
Langley: GP: 33 Wins: 13 Losses: 14 Tie: 1 OTL: 5 Points: 32
Chilliwack: GP: 34 Wins: 22 Losses: 10 Tie: 1 OTL: 1 Points: 46
Langley: PP- 6th place @ 20.81%, PK- 5th place @ 81.71%
Chilliwack: PP- 4th place @ 22.29%, PK- 1st place @ 86.70%
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley: Jakob Reichert. Since making the move to the centre ice position, the Langley native is starting to find his stride. He racked up one goal and four assists in the two wins last weekend and has looked determined as ever. He is most successful when he uses that big 6’5″ frame of his and he will need to keep it up more than ever against a physical Chiefs squad.
Chilliwack: Luke Esposito. He picked up two goals last night and has given the Rivermen fits this year putting up three goals and three assists in the season series. He is only two points back of Puskarich for the league lead in points and if the season ended today, there is a very good chance he would be named rookie of the year.
The ‘Men have had troubles stringing wins together this season as tonight they will try to match their season high three game win streak that they had back in early October. It is simple……Win tonight and they are back in a playoff spot for the first time in months. Expect Austen Bietenbeck to make his Rivermen debut tonight. He will wear #9. Also expect Barr and Gillam to go head to head between the pipes for a fourth straight time.
The game will be available on http://www.fasthockey.com and on http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM from the Prospera Centre.