The Rivermen and Vipers will clash one last time this season tonight at the Wesbild Centre in Vernon. The Rivermen lead the season series 1-0 after picking up an overtime win back on October 20th at the LEC. Both teams were in action last night. The Vipers were in Salmon Arm and lost 3-2, while the ‘Men played host to the Chilliwack Chiefs and picked up a big 5-1 win. The team played a complete 60 minutes and sure looked like a playoff team, but we will see if they can put forth that same effort tonight on the road.
We should see a very desperate Vipers squad when the puck drops. They lost their biggest game of the season last night in Salmon Arm. Going into the game they were five points back of the Silverbacks and had a game in hand, but with that loss they are seven back and only have six games left. A loss tonight would not mathematically put them out of it, but they would need nothing short of a miracle to get in.
Tonight will be the last time the Rivermen will face an opponent not in the Mainland Division. The Boatmen’ have not had a whole lot of success against Interior opponents this season with a record of 3-7-0-1.
Langley: 4th place in Mainland. Wins: 21 Losses: 23 Tie: 1 OTL: 5 Points: 48
Vernon: 6th place in Interior. Wins: 17 Losses: 24 Tie: 1 OTL: 8 Points: 43
Langley: PP- 4th place in BCHL @ 21.78%, PK- 11th place in BCHL @ 78.84%
Vernon: PP- 12th place in BCHL @ 17.74%, PK- 15th place in BCHL @ 75.78%
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley: Derek Sutliffe. He was the first star last night with a goal and an assist in last night’s win over Chilliwack. He has put up two goals and three assists in his last four games and is playing great hockey of late. As it stands right now he is one goal back of his career high of 15 he had last year and has 32 points going into tonight which is what he compiled all of last year.
Vernon: Mason Blacklock. The former member of the Rivermen has been a great fit in Vernon since the trade deadline. The White Rock native was involved in the deal that sent Adam Tambellini to the Eagles on January 10th and Blacklock has flourished with the Vipers racking up eight goals and seven assists in 13 games. He leads the team with 17 goals and 32 points.
After the performance James Barr put on last night, he will get the call in net tonight. For the Vipers Austin Smith will start. He had last night off in Salmon Arm and should be fresh.
Multiple players on the Rivermen enter tonight on point streaks. Mario Puskarich leads the charge currently on a five game goal streak, and has 12 points in his last four games. His line mate Evan Campbell has points in four straight and has racked up three goals and five assists in that span. Derek Sutliffe has goals in his last two, and Viktor Dombrovkiy has an assist in three straight contests.
It will be a 7:00 PM puck drop from the Wesbild Centre. The game can be seen live on www.fasthockey.com or free audio is at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey.