|Kirk Hards draws into the preseason roster tonight|
The transition from the summer offseason to the start of the regular season isn't always a smooth one and that is why there is a training camp and a few preseason games thrown in the mix. Sometimes the bodies aren't completely ready for the transition and minor little aches and bruises are a common occurrence.
So as not to make anything more serious than it is, players are encouraged to take a few days off to let the body heal itself in time for the regular season. This often gives coaches an opportunity to tinker with lines and take longer looks at other players as well. Occasionally it means bringing back a player for another opportunity to get some game time experience at the Junior A level.
Such is the case tonight for Prince George minor hockey product, Kirk Hards. A hold over from the training camp, Hards played in the Spruce Kings first preseason game on Tuesday night. The game turned into a 2-1 win for the Spruce Kings and Hards had the chance to show off his tenacious and fearless side. Listed during training camp at 5' 6" 137 lbs, you would never know it watching him go hard to the net and cause problems for the opposition defense and goaltender.
Perhaps fittingly, Hards will don the jersey worn by another Prince George minor hockey product that was considered to be slight for the game but played much bigger than his measurements on paper indicated. That player put up some big numbers that still reside in the Spruce Kings record book, he wore the 'C' above the crown and earned a NCAA Division I scholarship. Hards will wear Sam Muchalla's number 26 tonight for the Spruce Kings final preseason test and the second half of the home-and-home series versus the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Hards is currently at the BCMML Cariboo Cougars training camp, but has been granted permission to play up with the Spruce Kings for tonight. Perhaps that will be the spark plug the team needs to rebound from a disappointing loss to the Storm last night in Grande Prairie. Tonight's game is a 7pm start in the Prince George Coliseum with admission just $5.00. The game will also be broadcast through FastHockey.com for those that can't be at the game in person.