Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Spruce Kings and Silverbacks Preview

Salmon Arm, here we come! The Spruce Kings are on the bus and heading down to face the Silverbacks as you read this. It''s another important game against a division rival, and one that the Spruce Kings will be favoured to win. But this game is anything but a gimme, it will be another long hard fought battle with one team moving up a spot in the interior conference standings. With that in mind, let's preview the match up between the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and your Prince George Spruce Kings

The Break Down:

As always, especially with the new playoff format, games against conference rivals are must win games. This year, instead of 7 of the 8 teams getting into the post season, only 4 teams will see extra action in March. With Penticton, Powell River and Westside separating themselves from the pack, these games against the other 4 Interior Conference teams become even more important than they already are. Prince George currently sits in 5th place, with Salmon Arm just behind them in 6th. The winner of tonight's match up will temporarily jump into the 4th spot in the standings, and help build on tie breakers for the end of the season. This will be the first of eight meetings between these two teams this season, with the next one happening on November 19th. These two squads faced off six times last season with the Spruce Kings losing four of them.

The Spruce Kings are coming off a 2 game split with the Penticton Vees, winning the second game in double overtime with .2 seconds left. It was the Spruce Kings first win since their season opener against Merritt, and their first win over Penticton in 4 years. Salmon Arm is also coming into tonight's contest on a high note having won their last two games. It was their first two wins of the season beating the Trails Smoke Eaters in a home and home match up. The Sunwave Center is always a tough place for an opponent to walk into as the Silverbacks have found a lot of success skating in front of fans. They were 22-7-1 last season and are 1-1-0-1 this season. The Spruce Kings are yet to win agame on the road this year, going 0-1-0-1 in Pentcton and Vernon. Can Prince George grab their first win away from the Castle? Only time will tell

News and Notes:

The Silverbacks leading scorer for the season is Morgan Zulinick who sits at 15th in league scoring with 10 points . The Spruce Kings leading scorer in this early season is Paul De Jersey who sits in 3rd in league scoring with 12 points, and 1st in goals scored with 9. It's not known who will start in goal for either team come time for puck drop tonight, but it's a safe bet to say Kurt Williams will start for the Silverbacks. Williams has started 6 of the 7 games this season accumulating a 2-4 record. The Spruce Kings have went back and forth this season between Kirk Thompson and Marcus Beesley. In talking with coach Dave Dupas after Saturday's game, he didn't want reveal who would start yet, but did say at the start of the season they would ride the hot hand and Beesley is the last goalie to scoop up a win for the Spruce Kings. Look for the rookie Beesley to start between the pipes

Scrapes and Bruises:

Joel Kipp is the only Silverback who is currently listed on the roster with an injury as he has a ruptured spleen. Kipp will not play. The Spruce Kings are continuing to rehab a few starters as Jarred Crossan, Connor Tiechko and Jeff Earnest will sit on the sideline. Tyson Witala didn't play on Saturday as he took a puck off of the foot on Friday night, it is unknown if he will play tonight

Game Time:

The Silverbakcs and the Spruce Kings will face off tonight at 7pm at the Sunwave Arena. You can find the live webcast for tonight’s match up here

Go Spruce Kings

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