The five game losing skid the Rivermen went through in mid-November seems forever ago. Since losing to Nanaimo on November 14, the Riv have won six out of their last seven games and are feeling confident with the Christmas break just around the corner. The Rivermen enjoyed a successful five-game home stand from November 20-November 28 picking up four wins and will play four out of their next five at the LEC before the team separates for the break.
Heading into this weekend, the ‘Men sit third in the competitive Mainland Division with an 18-12-0-0 record for 36 points. Wenatchee is in second place with 43 points, while Chilliwack is in first with 46.
For a second straight weekend, the Rivermen will be without the services of two key players in Bo Didur and Justin Fregona. Both are representing Team Canada West at the World Junior “A” Challenge, which begins on Sunday, December 13. With the two of them out of action until likely December 30, it means an opportunity for others, especially goaltender Nick Trenciansky.
“It is a great opportunity for both Bo and myself. I hope he plays well and gets some exposure at a big event like that. For me, I just to play as much as I can and give my team a chance to win every night. It is going to be a fun couple of weeks and look forward to the challenges ahead,” said Trenciansky.
For Trenciansky, a Surrey native, this is not the first time he has been pushed into the spotlight, as he has taken over the net few times this season when Didur was lost to injury. From September 20-October 11, he started in seven straight games and had a record of 5-2-0 and posted his first career shutout during that span.
“I feel as confident now than I did back then. Knowing that I am the guy and the team is reliant on me makes me feel really good in the net. I am not feeling any pressure at all and have been pretty relaxed to be honest. I can’t wait to get back in there this weekend,” Trenciansky continued.
Saturday, December 12 vs. Vernon Vipers @ 6:00pm- Langley Events Centre (Teddy Bear Toss night)
The Riv and Vipers will lock horns for the first of two meetings on the season. Vernon will be looking to get back on track as it has been a struggle for them in the past few weeks with just two wins in their last eight games. They stroll into the LEC with a road record of 5-10-0-1. 34 games into the BCHL season, they are 14-18-0-2 for 30 points and sit fourth in the Interior Division.
They are led offensively by rookie Odeen Tufto who has 12 goals and 20 assists for 32 points. In net, Andrew Shortridge has gotten most of the playing time with a 12-12-0 record in 24 appearances to go along with a 2.78GAA and a .922 save percentage.
Sunday, December 13 vs. Surrey Eagles @ 4:00pm- South Surrey Arena
The matinee on Sunday will be the fifth meeting of the year between the two divisional opponents. Langley has gotten the better of the Birds so far with a 3-1 record and have outscored them 15-5 in the last two meetings. At the 30 game mark, it has been a struggle for the Eagles with a 5-25-0-0 record. By the time Sunday comes around, it will be their third game in three days after playing a home-and-home set with the Coquitlam Express on Friday and Saturday night.
Kurt Black leads the team in scoring with 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points. Rookie Ty Westgard has been a bright spot for the team as the 17 year-old is nearly producing at a point per game clip with 21 points in 24 games.