The fourth spot in the Mainland division will be on the line tonight when the Rivermen and Express lock horns. As it stands right now the Rivermen are just one point up on the Express for fourth place and have two games in hand on them. It will be the seventh meeting of the season between the two teams and Langley has had their way with Coquitlam taking the last four games. The series did not start off well for the ‘Men as they dropped the first two meetings, but have figured it out since their last loss to them on October 28th.
The ‘Men will look to bounce back after a very tough weekend at home where they were outscored 15-3 by Penticton and Surrey. The squad had a very good week of practice and are doing to everything in their power to keep their winning ways against Coquitlam. It is the only game of the week for the Rivermen, which makes tonight’s game even that more important as you do not want to sit around for a week mulling over a loss. On a side note, Coquitlam has three games in three days on the schedule this weekend, which means when Langley plays their next game at home next Friday against Salmon Arm, they will have a whopping four games in hand on the Express.
The Express will be without a lot less firepower as gone are Phil Zielonka, John Siemer, and captain Mitch Nardi who were dealt at the deadline. Justin Georgeson now leads the team in scoring with 23 points in 39 games, but you cannot take these guys lightly as they are 1-1 since January 10th and are still striving to get a playoff spot.
Langley- 4th place in the mainland. GP: 37 Wins: 15 Losses: 16 Tie: 1 OTL: 5 Points: 36
Coquitlam- 5th place in the mainland. GP: 39 Wins: 17 Losses: 21 Tie: 1 OTL: 0 Points: 35
Langley- PP- 6th place @ 20.24%, PK- 11th place @ 79.56%
Coquitlam- PP- 11th place @ 17.71%, PK- 12th place @ 78.67%
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley- Austin Azurdia. He was probably the most effective player in Sunday’s loss to Surrey. In the first period he was flying all over the ice and the coaches took notice of that and put him with Puskarich and Campbell to start the second frame. Before the five-minute mark, Azurida had a goal and an assist with his new line- mates. It looks as if he may even start tonight’s game with those two even though James Robinson is expected to be back in the line-up.
Coquitlam- Adam Rossignol. He played his first BCHL game last Saturday after spending the previous three seasons in the WHL. He racked up 44 points in 174 games between Kootenay, Swift Current, and Regina and will be leaned on to provide offense the rest of the way for the Express.
Tonight is going to be another massive game for both teams. It is unsure who will get the start in-goal. but if I had to guess I would say Barr VS. Huggins. Both are still looking to find their stride just in time for the stretch drive, which makes tonight’s start a very important one. Langley will look to get their special teams back on track as the power play was 0/8, while the penalty killed struggled allowing 6 goals on 12 opportunities.
It will be a 7:00 PM puck drop from the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre. The can can be seen live on Fasthockey PPV, while free audio will be available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey.