For the second and final time this season, the Rivermen and Grizzlies will match up against each other. Victoria is the Cinderella story this year as they have literally gone from worst to first in a span of 11 months. At this time last year they only had 19 wins and were dead last. Right now they have 31 W’s and are the top team in the BCHL with 68 points and have only nine regulation losses all year. Take a bow Bill Bestwick.
The Rivermen will look to keep their good week of Hockey going after knocking off the Coquitlam Express 7-1 on Tuesday night. The Grizzlies also played on the same day at home against Powell River and won 7-4. In fact the Grizz’ last three games have all been against the Kings and were all played in a span of five days.
The Grizzlies are very deep throughout their line up, but one of the main reasons for their success this year has been the two-headed monster in net. Brady Rouleau and Michael Stiliadis have pretty much split time this year in between the pipes. Rouleau has 16 wins, while Stiliadis has 15 and both have a save percentage over 90% and a goals against average at under three. It also helps when your power play(1st) and penalty kill (5th) are in the top five.
The Rivermen lead the season series 1-0 after picking up a win against Victoria at the Bear Mountain Arena back in December with a 5-1 score.
Langley- 4th place in Mainland. GP: 43 Wins: 18 Losses: 19 Tie: 1 OTL: 5 Points: 42
Victoria- 1st place in Island. GP: 46 Wins: 31 Losses: 9 Tie: 0 OTL: 6 Points: 68
Langley- PP: 2nd place in BCHL @ 22.11%, PK: 10th place in BCHL @ 80.29%
Victoria- PP: 1st place in BCHL @ 25.35%, PK: 5th place in BCHL @ 82.04%
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley- James Barr. He looked as comfortable as ever on Tuesday facing 47 shots against the Express and only allowed one past him. Although he has one win in his last three starts he has looked very good and has given his team a chance to win in those contests and that is all you can ask for. Tonight will be a huge test for him against this high-octane offense of the Grizzlies.
Victoria- Myles and Leo Fitzgerald. I would have went with all three Fitzgerald triplets, but Gerry has missed the last five games with an injury and I am unsure if he will play tonight. It is no secret the Fitzgerald’s are at their best when they are all on a line together, but regardless they are always dangerous. They are the top three scorers on the Grizzlies and Myles in particular is having a fantastic year with 60 points, which is tied for third in league scoring. Oh did I mention he is riding a 19 game point streak into tonight? Oh how can I forget. In that span he has put up 14 goals and 19 assists. The last time he did not register a point you ask? December 2nd against Langley at the Bear Mountain Arena.
This game will be a good measuring stick type game for the Rivermen to see where they match up against the league’s elite. It will be imperative to stay out of the box as the Grizzlies have the top power play in the BCHL operating at over 25%. It is also a special weekend for the Rivermen players as it is parents weekend. A lot of mom and dad’s for the most part are making the long trip to Langley so it is very important the team puts on a good performance in front of them.
It will be a 7:15 PM puck drop from the Langley Events Centre and can be seen live on Fasthockey pay per view. Free audio can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey.