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PREVIEW: Smoke Eaters Return home to face the Rivermen

After a tough and busy weekend on the Island the Smoke Eaters return home to face the Langley Rivermen Friday night at Cominco.

Regular Season vs Langley

November 22nd @ Cominco Arena 7pm

December 7th @ George Preston Arena 7:15pm

Last season vs the Rivermen 1W-2L

The Smoke Eaters (17-8-2-1), 3rd in the Interior and 5th in the league, host two Mainland division teams for a weekend at home following a long trip to the Island. The Smoke Eaters are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon. The team was battling a few injuries and on the back end of a 3-in-3 didn’t help the situation. For the most part the group has healed up and after a strong week of practice are ready to get back in the win column. The Smoke Eaters have a nice run of games going at home with a six-game win streak inside Cominco Arena, where they have outscored their opponents 31-10. The Smokies special teams still sit among the best in the league. The power play sits 2nd at 24.8% and the penalty kill, which has been a strong point since day one still sits fourth at 88%. The power play will be one spot the Smoke Eaters will look to take advantage with, as the Rivermen’s penalty kill is 14th in the league, allowing a league high 36 power play goals against, while being tied for the most penalized team in the league at 153 penalties taken.

Smoke Eaters leading scorers

Johnson (20-30-50)
Colella (13-24-37)
Ozar (12-22-34)
DiMurro (5-19-24)
Ghirardosi (10-12-22)

ICYMI: Five Smoke Eaters Named to Team Canada West Selection Camp

The Rivermen (11-14-0-1), like the Smoke Eaters has a slow start to the season going 1-5 in their opening six games. their one win however was a 6-1 thumping over the first placed Coquitlam Express. Since then it’s been a mix of win streaks and losing streaks. In their last five the Rivermen are 3-1-0-1 with four of the five games needing extra time. They picked up an overtime win over the Chilliwack Chiefs in a 6-5 win. They would then beat Surrey and Vernon in shootouts before losing in a shootout to Cowichan on Sunday. The Rivermen they fell 4-3 to Penticton in a mid week game in Langley. The Rivermen bring with them two of the top scorers in the League. Brendan Budy sits 4th in league scoring with 36 points and Jake Livingstone who is second among defenceman in scoring with 25 points. Goaltender Braedon Fleming has played the bulk of the games as well going 11W-11L with 2 shutouts, a 3.02 GAA and 0.889 SV%.

Langley Rivermen leading scorers

Budy (12-24-36)
Livingstone (6-19-25)
Leduc (9-8-17) Ozar
Musa (7-9-16)
Szeto (3-11-14)

Game time is 7pm as the Smoke Eaters play their first of two games at home this weekend. They’ll look to take the first game of the year against the Rivermen, a team they’ll see again in three weeks time. If you can’t make it to the game catch all the action on HockeyTV or Mixlr starting at 6:50pm with Ben Phillips and Rob Squires.