The seventh and final meeting of the season between the Rivermen and Spruce Kings takes place tonight in the Interior. The Riv will look to finish off the season series with seven straight wins against their Mainland Division rivals.
A win tonight will give Langley their second 30 win season in franchise history and will surpass last year’s win total of 29. The team still sits in third place in the division with a 29-21-3-1 record for 62 points and are eight points back of second place Wenatchee.
For fans wondering about the playoff picture and format:
The top-four teams from each division will make the playoffs for a total of 12 playoff teams. Each team will be seeded with No. 1 playing No. 4 and No. 2 versus No. 3 in each division in Round 1.
Round 1 starts on Friday, March 4 and must be completed by Sunday, March 13. It is a best-of-seven series.
With just four games left in the regular season, a third place finish is likely where the Rivermen will end up going into playoffs and will start on the road in either Wenatchee of Chilliwack on March 4. In order to get second place, the Riv have to run the table and need the Wild to not gain a single point the rest of the way. As it stands right now, Wenatchee is still in the hunt for first place, just three points back of Chilliwack as well.
To the game tonight, both teams are coming off losses in their last outing. The Riv finished off a busy four game week with a 3-2 loss in West Kelowna last Saturday, while the Spruce Kings dropped a 4-1 decision in Coquitlam on Sunday. The month of February has been a tough one for PG who are 1-5-0-0 and have lost their last four games, while the Rivermen are 2-3-0-1 and have won two out of their last three contests.
With the regular season schedule dwindling down, captain Jordan Schneider knows what the team needs to improve upon before the playoffs begin.
“We have to work on our execution in all areas in our game. With the tough schedule we have had in the last few weeks, I thought we had a good week of practice leading into our game tonight. The guys are excited to try and get on a roll and it starts tonight in PG,” said Schneider.
When the final buzzer sounds tonight, the Riv will have played five games in 11 days and will be travelling back to the Mainland immediately following to get ready for Coquitlam on Saturday. Despite the rigorous schedule, Schneider believes the off-ice workouts the squad has put in throughout the season is paying dividends.
“Everyone is feeling pretty good mentally and physically. We have made a conscious effort all year to take care of our bodies the best we can, and we have done that for circumstances like we are in right now,” finished Schneider.
Game time is at 7:00pm from the newly named “Rolling Mix Concrete Arena”. All of the action can be seen live on www.fasthockey.com.