Game Time: 7pm
Listen: EZ Rock AM 800
Season Series: Nov 19th at Penticton, Nov 28th at Langley.
Vees Home Record: 9-1-0-0
Vees Record vs. Mainland Division: 4-0-0-0
Vees Leading Scorer: Riley Alferd 15-10-25
Rivermen Road Record: 5-5-0-2
Rivermen Record vs. Interior Division: 4-3-0-1
Rivermen Leading Scorer: Kevan Kilistoff 12-11-23
Home is where the Heart is: The Vees are in the middle of a three-game home stand at the SOEC. The Vees come into tonight’s game against the Langley Rivermen with a 9-1-0-0 mark at “home” this season; one home was at the Showcase in September. The Vees only blemish at home this season was a 3-2 setback on November 5th against West Kelowna and that was icing a short-handed line-up. In the Vees nine home games at the SOEC, they’re 8-1-0-0 and have outscored their opponents 38-13, and have only surrendered two or more goals three times. Langley climbed back to .500 mark on the road with their 4-3 win last night in West Kelowna. Despite the win last night, the Rivermen have won only two of their last five road games.
Some Sandpaper may be required: The Vees should expect an in-your-face style of play from the Rivermen when they drop the puck tonight. The Riv’ play a physical, aggressive game and that stats reflect that, as they’re the most penalized team in the BCHL. But if you’re going to play with an edge, you better have a good penalty-kill and the Riv’ own the league’s best PK, which is operating at 85.6 percent. The Vees power-play has found its groove, as they’ve scored goals in eight of their last night games with the man-advantage. Langley’s style of play can lead to penalties but the Vees will have to make the most of their opportunities if they’re planning on taking two points.
Another Hot Goalie? You don’t Say: It seems the Vees have run into a few hot goalies of late and tonight may be no different. Langley’s Bo Didur has won his last five starts, including backstopping the Rivermen to a win Tuesday. Didur, a former Surrey Eagle, has a .937 save-percentage in his last five starts. He is familiar with the SOEC, as he was on the wrong end of a 7-1 thumping by the Vees against the Eagles last December. However, almost a year later and Didur is 10-5-0-0 and sports a tidy 2.32 goals-against average and .930 save-percentage. The Vees have overcome a string of solid goaltending performances of late, including peppering Cowichan Valley with 42 shots last Saturday. Tonight they’ll need another persistent effort to get some rubber in the Langley net.
So Far, So Good: The Vees have fared well against the Mainland Division this season, as they sport a 4-0-0-0 record. They’ve won three against the struggling Surrey Eagles and one against Prince George. Last year the Vees were 5-3-1-1 against Mainland teams but were winless against the Rivermen. Almost one year ago, the Rivermen edged the Vees 5-4 at the SOEC on November 29th. Gage Torrel, back for his second season, was the first star that night scoring twice and finishing with three points. Earlier that month the Vees and Rivermen played to a 1-1 tie in Langley. Tonight the Vees are looking for their first win against Langley since the 2012-2013 season.