Tonight – Langley Rivermen (10-11-1-0) at Surrey Eagles (6-19-0-1)
7 p.m. at South Surrey Arena in Surrey
Presented by the BCIHL
After three games played, Langley leads the season series 2-1. Ethan Leyh had a goal and two assists and Braedon Fleming stopped 21 shots to earn the shutout as the Rivermen beat the Eagles 5-0 on Oct. 12. In a rare weekday afternoon game on Oct. 24, the Rivermen won again by a score of 4-3 on the strength of a pair of CJ Walker goals. In the rematch two days later, the Eagles broke through with a 4-2 win with Ty Westgard scoring a hat trick and Kyle Dumba making 34 saves to get the win.
Surrey’s Ty Westgard has points in six straight games, with 12 points over that stretch, although he is set to miss tonight’s game due to injury. The Eagles with be without his 33 points, tied for fourth-most in the BCHL, and his league-leading 24 assists. Corey Clifton is Surrey’s second-leading scorer with 15 points (4-11-15), followed by Matthew McKim with 14 points (1-13-14). On the backend, Justyn Gurney, Riley Hayles and Cody Schiavon each have 10 points on the year.
Langley goaltender Braedon Fleming has a record of 10-9-0 with the seventh-highest save percentage in the league at .914, the eighth-best goals-against average at 2.53 and two shutouts. Ethan Leyh leads the Rivermen in points with 20 (2-13-20) in 22 games. On defence, Jake Livingstone’s 10 points (4-6-10) in 21 lead the way offensively.
What’s at Stake
Langley sits in fourth place in the Mainland Division, eight points up on fifth-place Surrey and 10 points back of the second-place Coquitlam Express and Prince George Spruce Kings.
The Eagles are currently out of a playoff spot, but sit only two points back of the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the final postseason position.
From the Broadcast Booth
Eagles play-by-play broadcaster Greg Balloch on who the Eagles will look to in Westgard’s absence:
“Corey Clifton and Matthew McKim have proven themselves to be very solid playmakers in the BCHL. Brandon Santa Juana is a 16-year-old rookie that has been another offensive bright spot in the lineup. Defensively, it’s hard to ignore the play of Cody Schiavon and Matthew Barnes. They have been a consistent physical presence each and every game and are two of the toughest players to play against on this Eagles roster.”
Balloch on tonight’s matchup with the Rivermen:
“As with any Bobby Henderson-coached team, the Eagles are expecting a tough, physical battle. Both teams took a game on each other’s home ice the last time they met and you could tell that neither coaching staff was happy about that. The Eagles have struggled on home ice this season, so they would love to turn things around against a divisional opponent like the Rivermen.”
Rivermen play-by-play broadcaster Mike Bordignon on how the Rivermen can improve on their 15th-ranked offence:
“Winning the puck battles along the boards will go a long way. Driving the net and creating a screen and grinding out a goal is the best way to get the offence going in the right direction.”
Bordignon on Rivermen standout Ethan Leyh:
“He worked on his game in the offseason and it shows. His skating is better, his drive to the net is better and his shot has greatly improved since last season.”
Bordignon on tonight’s game against the Eagles:
“I’m expecting a never-give-up mentality which we’ve come to expect from a struggling Eagles team this season. Their work ethic on home ice will determine what kind of push-back the Rivermen will have.”
ABOUT THE BCIHL
The British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League was created with the purpose of offering a venue for competitive, high-calibre hockey that’s close to home for players beyond their junior careers. The league was launched in 2006 and now includes five member teams: Selkirk College, Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University, the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University. This season, 25 graduates with over 2750 games of BCHL experience are pursuing their academic and athletic goals in the BCIHL. To learn more about the BCIHL and playing opportunities for BCHL grads, visit BCIHL.ca.