After sitting and watching the BCHL scoreboard, the Spruce Kings finally get to see action tonight and take matters into their own hands. Over the past few nights the Spruce Kings have seen the Chilliwack Chiefs take over third place in the Interior Division and watched as the Vernon Vipers have inched closer to that fourth and final playoff spot in the Interior Division.
The Spruce Kings are as close to 100% as they have ever been this season with the lone exception being Skylar Pacheco who will miss his seventh game since January 6th. Last weekend, many of the players were battling a winter bug and were shorthanded five players for their last game; a valiant effort against the Penticton Vees.
The playoff push is on the forefront of everyone’s mind tonight as the final quarter of the regular season approaches. The Spruce Kings sit in fourth place with 47 points and the Vernon Vipers right behind them with 43 points and a game in hand. For Prince George, coming up with a pair of wins in this double header will help to cushion their playoff spot but the Vipers know that wins in both games will put them inside the playoff race.
Paul De Jersey will also get tonight to put some more offensive numbers with his name as he sits one point up for top spot among the League’s leading scorers. Michael Colantone (who missed one game last weekend) and Jujhar Khaira are also looking for the chance to add to their offensive output this season and get back in to the Top Ten.
The Vernon Vipers are coming off a 4-1 win last night over the Westside Warriors and looking for their first two game winning streak in the month of January. Danny Todosychuk (5-2) gets the start Friday night for the Vipers while Ty Swabb (4-3-1) gets the nod for Prince George. This is the first time since October 28 that these two teams have met in the Castle; in that game the Spruce Kings were victorious 3-2. In fact three of the previous four meetings have all been won by the home team except for the last time the Spruce Kings were in Vernon and came away big with a 5-1 win.
Neither team is thinking this is going to be an easy game and will really come down to the cliche of who wants it more. There's a lot here to excite any hockey fan and the expectation is for a good sized crowd on hand to witness this BCHL matchup. If you can't make it to the game, you can still catch all the action on BCHL Pay Per View or listen for free on the Spruce Kings Ustream feed beginning at 6:40pm.