The Rivermen will look to win their first game at the South Surrey Arena in nearly a year, when they take on the Surrey Eagles tonight. It is not just the ‘Men who have struggled getting wins in that building, but most teams that have paid a visit into the Eagles nest of late. The ‘Birds are unbeaten in their last six games on home soil and overall are 14-4-2-1 at the SSA.
It is Langley’s only game of the weekend, which makes it that much more important to win as they look to get back into the win column for the first time in three games. The Eagles will be hungry going into this one as they made the long trip up to Prince George on Thursday night and lost 5-1 to the hands of the Spruce Kings. Albeit they were without Adam Tambellini and Demico Hannoun once again, but did get Brady Shaw back in the line-up.
Overall tonight’s contest will be the seventh meeting of the season between these two cross town rivals. The Eagles have owned the season series with a 5-1 win advantage, which included a 3-1 win last Saturday at the SSA. After tonight, there is just one more meeting left and that will be on Monday, February 11th in the afternoon. It is a promotion the Eagles are putting on called “Family Day” with the start time at 2:00PM.
The Rivermen will get a big boost on the back-end as Turner Popoff makes his return to the line-up. Popoff has yet to play in 2013 as he missed all of January(eight games) with a lower body injury. Former Eagle Austen Bietenbeck will be held out for a fourth straight game with a lower body injury.
Langley: 4th place in Mainland- Wins: 17 Losses: 18 Tie: 1 OTL: 5 Points: 40
Surrey: 1st place in Mainland- Wins: 27 Losses: 12 Tie: 2 OTL: 3 Points: 59
Langley: PP- 2nd place @ 22.04%, PK- 10th place @ 79.60%
Surrey: PP- 10th place @ 18.05%, PK- 7th place @ 81.55%
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley:James Robinson. I am picking the Cochrane, Alberta native just due to the fact that he was held off the score sheet all of last weekend and is due to break out. The versatile forward was playing mostly centre last weekend and did not look out-of-place down the middle what so ever. Coach Henderson loves his versatility and is not afraid to put him anywhere on the ice in any situation, but he was putting up very solid numbers when he was on the wing. We shall see where he plays tonight.
Surrey: Brady Shaw. He has loved playing Langley this year as he has put up seven goals and eight assists in six games against the ‘Men this season (one with Coquitlam). He was held out of the last meeting on Saturday, but made his return to the line-up on Thursday up in PG. He is enjoying a fantastic year leading the team with 50 points and is off to Bentley next season on a division one scholarship. I think you can say the trade with Coquitlam has worked out…
The Coquitlam Express are in the rear view mirror of the Rivermen only behind three points as of right now. If the squad plays anything like they did last Saturday in Surrey and capitalize on a few more opportunities on Michael Santaguida they will be in good shape. He is a very good goaltender, but like any other goalie, if you put bodies in front of him on a regular basis, it makes life that much tougher to stop the puck.
It will be a 7:00 PM face off from the South Surrey Arena and can be seen live on Fasthockey PPV or on our U-stream channel at www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey.