The Prince George Spruce Kings are on their first weekend road trip in three weeks, and are a much different team since that time. Prince George has rattled off 5 wins in a row, 2 of them exciting comebacks. The current winning streak has helped lift the Spruce Kings into third in the Interior Conference, but a couple of wins this weekend could see them jump into second place, even first. Tonight’s match up will be in Kelowna, as the boys will challenge the Westside Warriors. This is the first of seven regular season match ups between these clubs, and as said before, with the new playoff format, every division game becomes that much more important. So let's preview tonight's game between the Westside Warriors and the Prince George Spruce Kings and the Westside Warriors
The Break Down:
The Spruce Kings came into this season under the radar, having won just 13 games last season. But this is now a team that can no longer sneak into a barn and steal 2 points. Prince George currently holds the title of the hottest team in the league, having won 5 in a row and housing two of the leagues leading scorers. Goaltender Marcus Beesley has made a solid transition into the BCHL, having backstopped the Kings in all five of their past wins. The biggest thing to note about this new squad is that they have shown the ability to battle back when down. Twice Prince George has trailed late in the third, only to battle back and win it. This is a completely new Spruce Kings team, and teams have started to notice this, meaning things won't be getting any easier for them. The Westside Warriors are once again off to a good start, currently sitting 4th and tied with PG in points. The Warriors haven't finished worse than 4th since the 06/07 season, and look sharp once again. These two teams faced off once during pre season play, the Warriors came out on top of that one by a score of 3-1. Westside have had the Spruce Kings number as of late, winning 5 of 6 last year, and winning 9 of the past 10 contests. You actually have to go back to February of 2009 to find the last time the Spruce Kings won a game at Royal Le Page Place
The Spruce Kings top line is one of the hottest in the league right now as Paul De Jersey, Jujhar Khiara and Michael Colantone have found their chemistry. De Jersey and Khiara sit tied for 2nd in league scoring, while Colantone sits in 10th. De Jersey currently leads the league in goals scored with 13 through 10 games, but had his 7 game goal scoring streak snapped on Thursday. Jujhar Khaira has benefited nicely from his new teammates, grabbing 9 goals and 13 assists through 10 games and is riding a 5 game point stream with 16 points during that stretch. The Westside Warriors leading scorer this season is Connor Dempsey, who has 8 goals and 9 assists through 11 games, good for 12th in the league.
Bumps and Bruises:
The Spruce Kings have had a visit by the injury bug quite a few times this season. Jeff Earnest (Jaw) and Jarred Crossan (Wrist) currently sit on the long term shelf. While Tyson Witala has missed a few games after taking a puck off of the foot and Connor Tiechko has missed the least 4 games, and could miss out on tonight’s contest as well. The BCHL website isn't showing any Warrior injuries at the moment, so well see come game time who plays and who doesn't
The puck drops tonight at Royal Le page Place at 7pm. You can catch the web cast and free Audio broadcast here. Go Spruce Kings!!