The 58th and final game of the regular season goes down tonight for the Langley Rivermen in Wenatchee against the Wild. If the playoffs started today, this would be a first round playoff match-up. The Wild have three games left on their schedule and trail the Chilliwack Chiefs by six points. In order for the Wild to catch the Chiefs, they would have to win their remaining three games and need Chilliwack to lose their last three in regulation. If the Riv win tonight in any fashion, it would set in stone a playoff series with Wenatchee.
When the puck drops tonight, it will be the Rivermen’s fourth game in the last six days, however, with no more games left in the regular season, the Riv will have a full nine days off before playoffs begin on March 4th. The Riv enter tonight coming off a 4-0 loss on Sunday afternoon to the Victoria Grizzlies, but have won four out of their last six games. The Wild support the same record in their last six contests and dropped their last game on Saturday to Cowichan Valley 3-2 in their home rink.
No matter what happens tonight, this 2015-16 Rivermen team will finish with the second best record in franchise history. The 2013-14 team that won the Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy (most points in BCHL) with a 37-13-5-3 record for 82 points, is the only squad that had a better finish. Right now, the Riv are 31-22-3-1 for 66 points, while the Wild are 33-15-4-3 for 73 points. In the season series, the Wild have gotten the better of the Riv winning four out of the five games thus far and have taken the last three in a row.
Looking at the individual stats, Matthew Graham will finish the season as the leading points scorer on the team with 64. The goal scoring race is still up for grabs though, as Graham and Justin Fregona are tied with 24 goals apiece. As it stands right now, the Riv currently have four players in Graham, Fregona, Torrin White, and Matty Saharchuk who are all over the 20 goal plateau. If Max Kaufman scores tonight, he will be the fifth as he sits on 19 goals to date. Nanaimo and West Kelowna are the only other teams in the BCHL who have four 20+ goal scorers on their roster. In goal, Bo Didur and Nick Trenciansky have been a solid one-two punch all season and have almost identical win totals. Trenciansky has 16, while Didur is one behind at 15.
Much like the Rivermen, the Wild have a very balanced scoring attack with three players in Brendan Harris (52 points), Mike Coyne (44 points), and Kyle Stephan (43 points) all over the 40 point mark. Their best player may very well be their goaltender Chase Perry, who is a Detroit Red Wings draft pick and owns a record of 22-16-0-2 to go along with a 2.66 GAA and a .890 save percentage.
Game time is set for 7:05 pm at Toyota Town Centre and can be seen live on www.fasthockey.com.