It is an exciting time in the Rivermen organization with the team hosting their first ever playoff game tonight. With the win on Saturday night and the series all knotted up at 1-1, the ‘Men are guaranteed two playoff home games and home ice advantage now switches into their favour. The squad finished 15-9-1-2 in their home rink.
If you were an outsider looking at the boxscores in this playoff series through two games, you would think it was a boring series. That could not be more untrue as their has been a ton of scoring chances, but the two goaltenders in James Barr and Michael Santaguida have been spectacular. There has been 139 shots combined between the teams through 120 minutes, and only three of those shots have gone in. Looking back at some of the tape from the last two contests, I still shake my head at some of the acrobatic stops the two puckstoppers are making and none bigger than the save Barr made on Tambellini in the third period in game two. I said on the broadcast that was the best save I have ever seen live and I still stand firm on that.
The Rivermen defense should get a huge pat on the back for their performance on Saturday night. With the abscences of Whiteley, Smith, and Bietenbeck, players like Dolby, Johnson, Popoff, and Dombrovskiy all stepped up playing more minutes. Those four have a combined age of 69 and all played like veterans back there and will be leaned on heavily again tonight. There were two call-ups as well in Ben McWilliams and Jivan Sidhu(teammates on the North Vancouver Wolfpack) and they stepped in and played very well.
Langley- Record: 1-1…..PP: 1/5…..PK: 5/6…..Shots for: 70…..Shots against: 69…..PIM: 32
Surrey- Record: 1-1…..PP: 1/6…..PK: 4/5…..Shots for: 69…..Shots against: 70…..PIM: 40
WHO TO WATCH FOR:
Langley & Surrey- James Barr & Michael Santaguida. You guessed it. Could we possibly be in for another goaltenders duel? By the way these two are playing we very well could be. It is like whenever one of them makes a great save at one end, the other tops that save with an unbelievable one of their own. I have a feeling it is frustrating to be a shooter right now because the net looks so small to them and just looking at some of the talent on both teams, it is a testament to just how well these guys are playing with only three goals allowed so far.
Well it is now a best of three with the series shifting back to the LEC. Getting that first goal is going to be ever important with the series shaping up the way it is right now. Obviously the team that has scored first has won both games and it is a good bet to continue that way.
It will be a 7:15 PM puck drop and can be seen live at http://www.fasthockey.com or free audio is available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/langley-rivermen-hockey.