It's another big set of divisional games this weekend as the Spruce Kings will look to build off of their win in Merritt. Last year Prince George was only able to defeat the Silverbacks once, but it was inside the Castle. This will be the first time this season Prince George will host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. These two squads are not separated by much in the standings, combine that with the new playoff format and that makes this weekend's games a can't miss experience. With that in mind let's preview the match up between the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and your Prince George Spruce Kings.
The Set Up:
These two Interior Division rivals have met just once this season, in Salmon Arm, and it was a game that was dominated by the Spruce Kings. Paul De Jersey, Jujhar Khaira and Michael Colantone were in on 4 of the 6 goals and combined for 9 points. The Silverbacks are coming into this weekend's contest on a high note, having won 3 of their past 4. The Spruce Kings will also ride a nice wave of momentum into Saturday's first game of the double header after posting a double overtime 3-2 win in Merritt on Thursday. Kirk Thompson was stellar in the win, stopping 39 pucks on route to victory. The Silverbacks suffered a disappointing loss last night to the Penticton Vees and then had to board the bus for the two game set in Prince George.
The Spruce Kings continue to get superb play from their new forward and former Silverback, Paul De Jersey. De Jersey sits just one point back in the league scoring race and still leads the BCHL in goals scored with 20. Jujhar Khaira is another Spruce King who comes in on a hot streak, but for a few different reasons. Khaira returned to Prince George with gold around his neck having helped Canada West win it all at the World Junior A Challenge. Khaira also scored a goal in his first game back since the tournament.
The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have 3 different players who sit above the 20 point threshold this season, but it's their Switzerland product who leads the charge. Devin Muller has 26 points this season through 18 games. Brett Knowles and Morgan Zulinick round out the Silverback top three in scoring with 25 and 24 points each.
Bumps and Bruises:
The Spruce Kings were able to ice a full roster for the first time since the start of the season on Thursday; only Sean Landrey sits on the shelf. The Spruce Kings will once again be able to ice a full line up tonight. As Prince George gets healthy, the same can't be said for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks who currently list five players out with an injury.
The puck will drop in the Castle tonight at 7pm and then tomorrow afternoon at 3pm. You can catch the web cast on the BCHL website here. Or you can listen to the FREE audio broadcast here
Go Spruce Kings.