The streak came to an end last night, but that doesn't mean the Spruce Kings get to sit back and lick their wounds. Instead they have to travel to Vernon for a late afternoon match up with another division rival. Prince George will take on the Vipers of Vernon this afternoon with hopes of starting a new winning streak. Before last night's match up we talked about the importance of these two divisional match ups, and now with last night's result, this one becomes even more important with Merritt starting to find more success. The puck will drop today at 4pm, so let's preview the match up between the Vernon Vipers and your Spruce Kings
These two teams have already met once this season, and it's a game that Prince George would like to forget. The Spruce Kings lead 4-1 with 3 minutes left in the game when the Vipers stormed back, forced overtime and eventually won it. It was a heart breaking loss, but at the same time, it showed that the Spruce Kings could not only compete wth one of the top teams in the league, they can dominate. This time around coach Dupas will be reiterating to his squad that they need to play a full 60 miutes if they want to defeat one of the best. The Spruce Kings come into this game losing their first in five games, as they dropped a 6-2 desicion to Westside. The Vernon Vipers come in much happier, having just beat Trail 6-2 on the road. Speaking of the road, Prince George hasn't enjoy their time away from home very much this season. So far they own a 1-2-0-1 record away from the Castle, but are hoping to finish what they started 3 weeks ago. On the other side, the Vipers have been very good in their own barn, going 4-1 with the sole loss being against Penticton. It should also be noted that although the Spruce KIngs have a quick turn around, the Vipers are playing their third game in as many days. Fatigue will be a factory for both temas, but who will it affect more?
It's well documented how good Prine George's first line has been thus far, but last night they were held in check. Paul De Jersey did add a goal to his totals, but that line failed to dominate as they have in past games. Jujhar Khaira was held off of the stats sheet for the first time in 5 games. De Jersey still leads the league in goals scored, but Travis St. Denis is quickly closing in. Another Spruce King player who deserves some notice is big hulking defenceman Ben Woodley as he sits in 3rd for scoring by a D-Man. The Vernon Vipers have been using a scoring by commity approach when it comes to their games. Michael Zalewski, Darren Nowick and Adam Tambellini sit at or above a point per game average. And only 2 players on the roaster sit without a point this season.
Bumps and Bruises:
The Spruce Kings contnue to nurse some injuries early in the season. Jeff Earnest and Jared Crossan are the only player slisted on the BCHL website with injuries, but Sean Landrey, Connor Tiechko and Dylan Tappe didn't suit up last night, and likely won't again today.
Today's game will see the puck drop at 4pm at the Wesbild Centre. You can catch the webcast and free audio broadcast here. Just click the "Home Broadcast" link when the game starts. Go Spruce Kings