For the second time in as many weeks the Langley Rivermen and Salmon Arm Silverbacks duke it out, this time as the Riv make their only stop of the regular season at the Shaw Centre.
It’s a matchup of two squads who can view this game as a good litmus test. For the Rivermen, it’s a tough road game against a powerful offence and for the Apes they face a division leader and one of the hottest teams in the BCHL.
The Riv come into Salmon Arm as winners of two straight and six of their last seven including four of their last five on the road. Tonight’s game features the top scoring line in the league (Smith, Anderson, Gillies) against Langley’s balanced attack. The Rivermen’s scoring depth has been on display of late and last night in Trail was no exception with goals from Jackson Waniek, Marcus Vela, and Jakob Reichert while Darien Craighead had a pair of helpers, and that balanced attack will have to continue tonight.
The Rivermen earned a 3-2 overtime win two weeks ago at the LEC with Gage Torrel scoring the game winner on the power play. Austin Azurdia left the game with injury and made his return to the Rivermen lineup last night.
Tonight marks the second and final regular season meeting between the Riv and Silverbacks. Langley holds the all-time head-to-head series 3-0-1.
Shutdown Their Offence: Salmon Arm relies heavily on the play of their top forwards. A responsible game by the Rivermen in their own end should lead to a good result.
Capitalize on Turnovers: The Riv are dangerous when they use their feet and long reaches to steal the puck, especially in the neutral zone. But the number of scoring opportunities and goals resulting from these turnovers could definitely be higher.