It’s the middle of a welcome break for the Rivermen who, as of their final pre-Christmas game last Sunday, had played more than any other team in the BCHL. It was an especially taxing last few weeks which included two lengthy road trips (at least in terms of miles on the bus). But all that considered, along with missing two key offensive pieces in Evan Anderson and James Robinson, the Riv find themselves still atop the Mainland division at 22-11-1-3.
Just like every other team in the leauge, many of the Rivermen have flown home to be with their families for the holidays. It’s a chance to refresh, catch up with friends, and mentally prepare for the unofficial second half of the season. If everything goes as planned, the Rivermen won’t get another chance to see their family homes for another five months.
Of course, it’s a little bit different for the local boys who do get the opportunity to see their family and friends on a more regular basis. But even for them it’s a chance to re-connect as the demanding schedule of the BCHL season doesn’t often allow for much “down time”. Of the Rivermen’s roster, Anderson, Brendan Gulka, Marcus Vela, Darien Craighead, Jakob Reichert, Kevan Kilistoff, Austen Bietenbeck, Jackson Waniek, Viktor Dombrovskiy, and Lyndon Stanwood all hail from the Lower Mainland but are still getting that chance to spend some time at home.
I spoke with Kilistoff and Reichert about the mid-way point of the season, the Christmas break, and what they’re looking for in the second half of the season.