The Rivermen ride their six game win streak into tonight’s tilt against the struggling Chilliwack Chiefs at the Langley Events Centre. It really is a tale of polar opposites early in the season as the 9-3-0-1 Riv are riding the BCHL’s longest active winning streak while the 1-7-1-1 Chiefs have a league low 4 points while also playing the fewest number of games at 10.
You can bet the Chiefs would love nothing more than to get their first win since September 14th by ending the Rivermen’s streak. Tonight is the first game back at the LEC for former Rivermen forward Ben Butcher while another former Riverman, Austin Plevy, is tied for the team lead in scoring with 5 points on the year.
On the Langley side of things, Austin Azurdia continues his hot play now sitting on a league best 8 game point streak barely kept alive Saturday night with an assist on Nathan Craft’s empty netter with 8 seconds on the clock. Craft now has points in 5 straight while Kevan Kilistoff is riding a 6 game point streak. Both Brock Crossthwaite and Steve Myland have been solid between the pipes for the Rivermen combining for a team Goals Against Average of 1.25 over the last four games.
Tonight marks the first meeting of the 2013-2014 season between the division rivals. Last year the Chiefs took the season series 5-3 outscoring Langley by a combined 32-25.
Fast start: The Rivermen cannot play down to the Chiefs who have had a poor start to the season scoring a league low 19 goals. Chilliwack had a 4-1 lead against Vernon Saturday before falling 5-4 in overtime. The Chiefs roster isn’t a whole lot different from last season so it may not take much for their forwards to put the puck in the net more often. Langley needs to start the game fast and hard and put plenty of pucks on net. While outshooting Surrey Saturday, the Rivermen still managed only 25 shots on goal.
Power Play: The Rivermen currently boast the BCHL’s best penalty kill on home ice allowing just two opposing power play goals for a 91.3% effectiveness. The same can’t be said on the man advantage however as the Rivermen are clicking at an anemic 13.04% overall, and 13.64% at the LEC. On the road, the Chiefs have scored just twice on the man advantage for a league worst 7.41%.