Friday, October 7, 2011

Spruce Kings and Vees Preview

The Spruce Kings will finally hit the ice at the Castle once again, and I'm sure they are very happy about this. The Spruce Kings are 1-2-0-1 through the first 4 games of the season, with the sole win coming at home. The Spruce Kings had an up and down road trip that saw them come within minutes of beating the Vernon Vipers, but also saw them take a 9-2 beating from tonight's opponent, the Penticton Vees. The Spruce Kings have dropped their past three games, but hope a home coming can swing things back in their favour. With that in mind, let's preview tonight’s match up between the Penticton Vees and your Prince George Spruce Kings:

--------The Break Down-----------

This weekends set of games will be important one's for the Spruce Kings as they work to establish their place in the Interior Conference. With the new playoff format this year, every game becomes that much more important, especially when you take on a division rival. The Spruce Kings are 0-9-1 in their past 10 versus the Vees, and haven’t beaten Penticton since November of 2007. Sprinkled in between those loses have been a couple of ties, but the Spruce Kings are definitely looking to turn things around tonight. The past 3 games have seen both Prince George net minders play, and both actually spent some time against tonight's opponent Penticton. Kirk Thompson started in goal, but made way for back up Marcus Beesley halfway through the game. It's not known who will start in goal tonight, but with a week off to rest and practice, it is thought that Thompson will be between the pipes by puck drop

The Penticton Vees are riding a three game winning streak into tonight, as we said before, they have had the Spruce Kings number over the past few years. The Vees lost their second game of the year to the newest BCHL franchise Chilliwack, but have since rebounded with dominating efforts over Prince George, Coquitlam and Trail. The Vees sit at 4th overall when it comes to power play percentage, scoring the most goals while being a man up. But, most of the goals have come at home, as they have just 1 power play goal in 15 tries in other barns. Tyler St. Dennis of the Vees is leading the league in scoring at the moment, and will definitely be a man that the Spruce Kings will need to keep their eye on as the night progresses. Goaltender Michael Garteig will likely get the start tonight for two reasons. He has been playing very well through the first 5 games, and, the big kicker being Garteig was born in Prince George. You can be sure that he will have some family in attendance tonight and will be jacked and ready to go for the puck drop

As stated, the Penticton Vees have a great power play, and lots of fire power. It will be key for the Spruce kings to stay out of the box as they allowed 4 power play goals the last time these two met. On the flip side, if the Spruce Kings can stay disciplined and receive some power play time of their own, they can start generating some chances. The Spruce Kings have had a rough start to the season, going just 2 for 17 on the man advantage

-------News and Notes--------

The Spruce Kings will have two brand new faces in the line up tonight as they made trades for former Victoria Grizzly Michael Colantone and a former Westside Warrior Tyson Witala. Colantone brings 4 assists with him and Witala brings 1 goal and 1 assist. Chase Golightly will also hit the ice at the Castle for the first time this season. Golightly played 26 games for the Spruce Kings last year, capturing 13 points

The Spruce Kings have quite a few players banged up at the moment. The list includes Jeff Ernest (Jaw), Jared Crossan (Hand), Sam Waterfield (Knee) and Cory Bardock (Undisclosed). For the Penticton Vees, Nick Aimes (Concussion Symptoms) has been ruled out for an undisclosed amount of time. It's unknown if Chad Bannor or Shane Hanna will play, but both men missed Wednesday contest against Merritt

----------Game Time-----------

The Vees will look to add to their 3 game winning streak tonight, while the Spruce Kings will look for their first win since the first game of the season. We'll see who comes out on top tonight as the puck is set to drop at 7pm at the Prince George Coliseum. You can catch updates for tonight's match up on our Facebook and Twitter. You can watch the Webcast of tonight's game on the BCHL Website and you can also catch the Audio Broadcast for free here. As for all Prince George home games, I will have tonight's call on the BCHL website and the free audio broadcast. My usual colour man Todd Doherty will not be at tonight’s game, filling in for him will be Mike Erickson.

See you at the Rink, or online

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