Friday, November 4, 2011

A Rivalry Renewed, With a Twist

Tonight the Spruce Kings will renew a rivalry, but with a bit of a change of scenery. Prince George has traveled to Chilliwack, as they are getting set to take on the former Quesnel Millionaires. This Chilliwack Chiefs squad is in its first year of existence since relocating, and it’s been a pretty successful start to the season. The Spruce Kings have come out of the gates flying as well, but a recent loss to Alberni Valley has let out a bit of wind from the sails. Both teams will be looking to continue to climb up the Interior Conference standings tonight, so let’s preview the match up between the Chilliwack Chiefs and your Prince George Spruce Kings

The Break Down:

For years, this was the battle of a couple of teams who lived just about an hour apart. Most teams who traveled to either Quesnel or Prince George, had a long way to go. But when these two met, having to deal with a long bus ride was not a factor. The Spruce Kings and the Millionaires met eight times last season, with Quesnel winning 5 of those match ups. Like the name change this year though, the Chiefs are a much different and better team. They have only 5 players who returned from the Millionaire days, and it shows on the ice. This organization has a new outlook and is moving in the right direction as the year rolls on. Attendance is way up compared to their Quesnel days, and right now they sit in 5th place, but having played 1 to 2 less games then most.

Speaking of new look franchises, the Spruce Kings have made a name for themselves early in the BCHL season. The top line has come flying out of the gates, establishing themselves as one of the tops in the league. Rookie goaltender Marcus Beesley has been a pleasant surprise early, and the bulking defense has showed that sized does matter. Unfortunately tonight the Kings will once again be without Jujhar Khaira as he has cracked the roster of the Junior A West Canadians. Paul De Jersey will return for his first game back since trying out for the same team. De Jersey will skate on the top line with Tyson Witala and Michael Colantone. Starting in goal tonight for the Spruce Kings will be Kirk Thompson. Thompson will be playing in his back yard, as he is from Surrey, BC.

The Stats:

As mentioned, Paul De Jersey will return to the line up tonight, as he'll look to continue to move up in the scoring race. De Jersey still sits at tie for the most goals this year. The Chiefs don't have that one player who has had a points explosion, but it really has been a score by comity approach. Every Chilliwack players has a point this season, with Malcom Gould and David Bondra leading the charge

Game Time:

The rivalry is renewed tonight as the Chilliwack Chiefs will host your Prince George Spruce Kings. The Spruce Kings sit in 5th right now with a 7-6-0-1 record while the chiefs are just 2 points behind them with a 6-6-0-1 record. It's another important match up between division rivals, and the first of eight between the two clubs. Puck drops at 7pm and you can listen to Marc Fitzgerald's broadcast of the game on he Chiefs radio station here. Go Spruce Kings

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