Tonight marks the second meeting of the season with the Chiefs as the Langley Rivermen will want to remember what happened in their first matchup with Chilliwack for a number of reasons.
This time both the Rivermen and Chiefs are coming off two consecutive wins as Chilliwack looks to have begun heating up putting together two straight wins for the first time this season. But the two still find themselves on opposite ends of the division standings. The 11-5-1-1 Rivermen lead the Mainland by two points over Prince George, six points ahead of third place Coquitlam. The 4-9-1-2 Chiefs have had one of their poorest starts to a season in recent memory but still have the talent to be competitive as the season wears on.
While the Chiefs have begun to find the win column, the Riv have begun to find the back of the net with more frequency outscoring the Express and Warriors by a combined 15-4 in two wins last week. Langley’s power play has also improved going 4/8 in the last two games but still sits 13th overall at just 15.7%. Chilliwack trails with a man advantage effectiveness of just 12.6% and only Vernon has scored fewer power play goals. The Rivermen Penalty Kill remains among the league’s best at 85.4% which is made all the more impressive considering Langley has been shorthanded more times than any other team. But that also says something about the Rivermen’s tendency to head to the penalty box and a solid penalty kill unit cannot be tested too much.
October 16th the Rivermen came into their first meeting of the season against the Chiefs on a six-game win streak as the hottest team in the BCHL. But Chilliwack put a quick end to that with a 3-0 shutout at the LEC. Josh Halpenny made 30 saves for his first shutout, and first win of the season in net for the Chiefs who earned just their second victory of the season.
Last season the Chiefs went 5-3 against the Rivermen and have now won six of their last nine meetings with Langley. All-time the Rivermen are 3-7 against Chilliwack.
Have a Good “Road Start”: Tonight marks the first road game for the Rivermen in nearly three weeks and although the team enjoyed a six-game homestand at the Langley Events Centre more often than not the visiting team has had the better start. The Rivermen need to have intensity and jump from the opening face-off tonight and hand Chilliwack a dose of what the Chiefs dished out in Langley a couple weeks ago.
Stay Out of the Box: Solid penalty kill or not, weak Chilliwack power play or not, the Rivermen have amassed far too many penalties to this point of the season. With 270 minutes in penalties in 18 games the Rivermen lead the BCHL — not a category they want to be tops in.