RIVERMEN GAMEDAY: Express @ Rivermen

THE RUNDOWN:

The Express will get one last kick at the can to bump a slump against the Langley Rivermen tonight. After Coquitlam won the first two meetings in the season series, the ‘Men have won the last five in a row. Tonight will mark the eighth and final meeting of the year and it will be a big one for both sides. Entering play tonight, the Rivermen are three points up on the Express for the fourth and FINAL playoff spot in the Mainland Division. Both squads are coming off losses from last weekend. Langley took a 5-3 defeat to the hands of the Surrey Eagles, while Coquitlam dropped both games last weekend on an Interior road trip including an 11-0 thumping to the defending champions on Saturday night. You just know they will be fired up from that one.

The Rivermen especially will try to get back in the win column as they have dropped three straight. With the exception of the Trail game two Sunday’s ago, the team has deserved better fate’s of late especially in their last two games against Surrey. They may have lost both games against the first place Eagles, but they sure gave them a run for their money in those contests.

THE STATS:

Standings:

Langley- 4th place in Mainland. GP- 42     Wins: 17    Losses: 19     Tie: 1     OTL: 5     Points: 40

Coquitlam- 5th place in Mainland. GP- 46     Wins: 18     Losses: 27     Tie: 1     OTL: 0     Points: 37

Special teams:

Langley- PP: 4th place @ 21.81%,     PK: 10th place @ 79.90%

Coquitlam- PP: 9th place @ 18.37%,     PK: 14th place @ 77.27%

WHO TO WATCH FOR:

Langley: #26 Matt Ustaski. The big centre has points in three straight and has scored in back to back games and is finding his old groove again. Last game he was put together with Mitch McLain and Derek Sutliffe and they were Langley’s best line combining for five points. One area that has been noticeably good recently has been his play in the faceoff circle. Look no further to the last game where he won a draw directly behind himself to Mitch McLain who one- timed home the second goal of the game.

Coquitlam: #21 Adam Rossignol. The newest Express centreman has four points in his last three games and has fit in well as the #1 centre since coming from the WHL on deadline day. The Surrey native picked up his first BCHL goal against the Rivermen back on January 18th. He has good hockey sense out on the ice and is a smooth playmaker with the puck.

FINAL TID-BITS:

The easiest way to catch the team ahead of you is by beating them head to head. The Rivermen will look to do everything in their power to not let that happen tonight, but look for a desperate Coquitlam squad who need points right now if they want to get their playoff spot back.

Tonights game will start a three game homestand this week for the Rivermen and I would expect James Barr to go up against Cole Huggins between the pipes. It will be a 7:15 PM face off from the Langley Events Centre and can be seen live on fasthockey pay per view or free audio can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey.

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