For the fourth season in a row, the Langley Rivermen are in the Fred Page Cup playoffs. Standing in their way in hopes of capturing a league championship are the Wenatchee Wild in the opening round. In the six game season series, The Riv went 1-4-1-1 against the Wild and were outscored 24-18.
Langley finished the regular season one spot below the Wild in third place in the Mainland Division with a 31-22-3-2 record for 67 points, while Wenatchee went 34-16-4-4 for 76 points.
“We have had a really good battle against them all year, and although our record may not show that, there were a lot of close games that had a playoff type atmosphere to them,” said Rivermen goaltender Bo Didur.
The Rivermen go into the playoffs posting a February record of 4-4-1-1, but leading scorer Matthew Graham feels comfortable with where the team is at heading into game #1.
“I feel like we made good progress down the stretch in certain areas, and as a group, are confident with where our game is at. The guys have done a good job of staying loose in the locker room leading up to this series and are pretty excited for the drop of the puck.”
Charlie Combs was the only player on the Wild that was a point per game player (28 points in 28 games), but it is the balance of their team that makes them a dangerous squad.
“They are built around great goaltending and defense and have some skilled forwards that can hurt you. I feel like both teams play a similar style, which should make for a pretty good playoff series. I have a feeling it is going to be a long one,” continued Graham.
When the puck drops on Saturday, it will have been 10 days since the Rivermen last played a game, which just so happened to be in Wenatchee. Bo Didur believes the long layoff had it’s positives.
“Last week we had a couple of days off, which was good to recharge and get fresh for what is going to be a grueling series. The guys have been going really hard at practice lately and are chomping at the bit to get started. I like where our mindset is at right now,” said Didur.
Game #1 goes on Saturday, March 5 at 7:05pm at Toyota Town Center, with Game #2 coming a day later on Sunday at 5:05pm. Rest of the series schedule:
|Game 3- Tuesday, March 8||7:00pm||Wenatchee Wild||Langley Rivermen||George Preston Recreation Centre|
|Game 4- Wednesday, March 9||7:00pm||Wenatchee Wild||Langley Rivermen||George Preston Recreation Centre|
|Game 5- Friday, March 11 *||7:00pm||Wenatchee Wild||Langley Rivermen||George Preston Recreation Centre|
|Game 6- Sunday, March 13 *||8:05pm||Langley Rivermen||Wenatchee Wild||Toyota Town Center|
|Game 7- Monday, March 14 *||7:05pm||Langley Rivermen||Wenatchee Wild||Toyota Town Center|
All games will be available to watch on www.fasthockey.com.
SEASON SERIES LEADERS:
Langley: Matthew Graham- 2 goals, 4 assists…Justin Fregona- 3 goals, 2 assists… Matty Saharchuk- 3 goals, 1 assist… Nick Trenciansky- 108/117, 1 win, 1 shutout, 1 loss, 1 tie
Wenatchee: Mike Coyne- 3 goals, 4 assists…Kyle Stephan– 5 goals, 1 assist…August Von Ungern- 4 goals, 2 assists…Chase Perry- 81/92, 3 wins, 1 loss.