Vees: 10-3-0-1 (Road: 3-3-0-0) Rivermen: 9-4-0-1 (Home: 4-2-0-0)
Vees (Mainland): 1-1-0-0 Rivermen (Interior): 2-0-0
Vees: 6-3-0-1 Rivermen: 7-3-0-0
Vees: 4-0-0-1 Rivermen: 4-1-0-0
October 19th @LEC
November 29th @ SOEC
The Vees (10-3-0-1) hit the road, paying a visit to the Langley Events Centre, as they tangle with the Mainland Division leading Rivermen (9-4-0-1) tonight; puck drop is 7:15pm. This is the first of two meetings this season between these two non-conference opponents; the season series wraps up November 29th in Penticton.
The Vees are coming off a hard-fought 3-2 win over the West Kelowna Warriors one night ago at the SOEC. Penticton’s win was powered by a strong special teams showing, as they scored twice on the power-play, and killed-off all seven Warriors power-play opportunities. A key penalty-kill sequence for the Vees was at the start of the third period, with the game tied 2-2, they killed-off a 1:15 five-on-three power-play for the Tribe; a nice rebound for the power-play and PK, after both had struggled in the last five games.
Paul Stoykewych, Brett Beauvais and Brad McClure did all the scoring for the Vees, the Captain finished with a two point night; he’s got five goals in his last six games too. Olivier Mantha was sharp in goal for Penticton, stopping 25 of 27 shots, including several key saves during that West Kelowna five-on-three power-play in the third period.
Looking ahead to tonight, the Vees will ice the same line-up as Friday, Cam Amantea playing in his second game in as many nights after missing two weeks with an upper-body injury. The only change will be in goal, the rotation continues, as Hunter Miska will get the call between the pipes. Miska last played Wednesday against Merritt and sports a 5-1-0-1 record, with a1.93 goals-against average and a .923 save-percentage.
The Vees will look to nip one streak in the butt tonight, as they’ve dropped their last three road games dating back to September 20th; last road win coming September 14th.
- Now 3-1 after a loss, outscoring their opposition 13-8. Not overwhelming numbers but a sign this team can respond well to adversity.
- This is the Vees first game against a Mainland Division team not named Prince George. They’re 1-1 so against the division, splitting the two-game series with the Spruce Kings.
- Another good character sign? This team knows how to win the close ones. Now 4-1-0-1 in one-goal games after last night.
- All good things must come to an end. Travis Blanleil had his seven game point come to an end last night. Going into last night he had four goals and 10 points during the streak.
- The magic number is 3. The Vees are 8-1-0-0 when they score three or more goals this season; 2-2-0-1 when they’re held to two goals or less.
- Heavy legs? Time will tell. Back half of the back-to-back. The Vees tried to use all four lines last night but special teams caused some headaches. With all the penalties, certain players play more than others due to the power-play and penalty-kill. The younger guys who didn’t see a lot of special teams time, will need to step up tonight and help offset the big minutes others played Friday.
- Will special teams be a factor? Langley took nine penalties on Wednesday against Chilliwack. Langley is the most penalized team in the BCHL this season (73 power-plays against). Langley does have a top five PK but the Vees need to find a way to get under their skin.
The Rivermen have been idle since losing 3-0 at home against the Chilliwack Chiefs. They’ll likely have a bur in their saddle, as the Chiefs are last in the Mainland Division and Wednesday was just their second win this season. In that loss the Riv’ only mustered 14 shots in the last two periods, as the offense dried up. They spent too much time in the penalty-box as well, handing the Chiefs nine power-play opportunities in the loss.
Despite their struggles on Wednesday, this is a very good Langley team, tied for third overall in the BCHL standings, and just had a six-game win streak snapped by the Chiefs. The Rivermen are 4-2 at the LEC this season and 2-0 against the Interior Division; both wins coming at the BCHL Bauer Showcase. Captain Mitch McLain leads the offensively, as he has five goals and 16 points through 14 games. Behind McLain is Will Cook (4-8-12) and James Robinson (3-8-11). Austin “The Mayor” Azurdia leads the team in goal-scoring (7) and sits fourth in team scoring with 10 points.
A familiar face is on the Langley blue-line, as former Vee Zach Urban will face the team he won an RBC Cup with in 2012. Urban started the season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, but found himself in Langley earlier this month after he was swapped for fellow 20 year-old Mark Whitely.