The Langley Rivermen head to the Island this weekend for a 3 game road trip kicking off Friday night in Powell River against the Kings, Saturday against the Cowichan Valley Capitals and end the 3 game road swing in Nanaimo against the Clippers.
The Riv will be without two of their top players Angus Crookshank and Brendan Budy who will be attending World Junior A tryouts for Team Canada West. Knowing that for a few weeks now, the staff, and players know its an opportunity for guys to step up and replace some of that void left by the two.
However, its not all bad, Derek Hamelin makes his return to the lineup while forward Brandon Costa, from the Castelgar Rebels in the KIJHL will make his Jr. A debut with the Riv. Hamelin returns to the lineup after playing just 6 games since being acquired from the Omaha Lancers in the USHL.
Powell River, sitting in first in the Island Division with a one point lead over the Clippers will be facing a Rivermen squad with a 7 point lead over Prince George, both teams will be looking to expand that gap in their respective divisions in a spirited tilt Friday night.
Last season, the Kings took game 1 at home 5-1, while game 2 saw the Riv take the 5-2 win.
Cowichan, in their only meeting with the Riv this season lost by a score of 7-2. The Capitals sitting in last in the division, and currently tied for last in the BCHL with the Express are definitely no push over. In their meeting with the Rivermen it was a 1-1 tie after the first, before the river men would score 3 in the 2nd and 3 in the third. Throwing a combined total of 45 shots on goal, the Riv had to work for their goals.
Nanaimo is one of the hottest teams in the BCHL right now sitting at 2nd in the division trailing the Powell River Kings by 1 point, their last loss was handed to them by the Rivermen in overtime in a game that could have gone either way where Trevor St. Jean netted the game winning goal off a feed from Collin Bernard and Sean Gulka. Since new ownership the Clippers have been playing harder than ever and are going to prove to be a test once again for the Riv.
Riv return home next weekend to take on Surrey and Coquitlam at home to kick off a 4 game homestead, which include playing the next 8 of 10 games against division opponents.