The 3-1-0-1 Langley Rivermen begin a three game in three day road trip tonight in Powell River before stops in Alberni Valley and Nanaimo.
The Riv are coming off a big double overtime victory against the Express in Coquitlam last Saturday with Kevan Kilistoff scoring his first of the season in spectacular fashion for the 5-4 win. It will be a big test for Langley tonight facing the Kings who lead the Island division with a 5-1 record. The Kings are on a three game win streak and welcome the Riv to The Hap Parker Arena which has been very good early this season for Powell River going 4-1 on home ice.
Rivermen Captain Mitch McLain leads Langley in scoring with three goals and five assists in the young season. McLain notched the team’s first shorthanded goal of the campaign last Saturday and assisted on Will Cook’s power play goal. Cook continues to produce with seven points in the first five games of the season while Tony Bretzman leads in team points from the blueline with four assists.
The Riv will see a few roster changes this weekend as defenceman Chris Forney is expected to make his return to the lineup. Brendan Gulka will sit tonight for the first of a six game suspension for leaving the bench to join an altercation in Coquitlam. James Robinson is serving the second of a two-game suspension tonight for a blow to the head penalty during Langley’s home opener last Friday. You can look for Brock Crossthwaite to get the majority of minutes in goal this weekend with James Barr out due to injury.
As for the Kings, they boast the top two scorers in the BCHL with Ryan Scarfo and Kurt Keats. A key to success for the Riv will be stopping Powell River’s early season potent attack. Special teams will likely be big tonight but Langley has a big task in front of them with the Kings in the league’s top five penalty kills.
It’s the first extended road trip of the season for the Rivermen with a chance to bond as a team and find some added chemistry both on and off the ice. Let the roady begin!