|Spruce Kings celebrating a win over the Surrey Eagles|
Tonight marks the first divisional matchup for the Prince George Spruce Kings in the Coliseum. Playing this season out of the Mainland Division, the Spruce Kings will play host to their new rivals a total of four times this season. The first divisional opponent to make their way north are the Surrey Eagles.
The two teams met last weekend in the Lower Mainland with Spruce Kings going into the nest and taking away two points in a 4-1 win. The Eagles will be looking to return the favour tonight after arriving in Prince George last night.
The Eagles have been on a see-saw ride to start the season swapping a win for a loss and not able to build any kind of a streak. They have had a week off since posting a 5-1 win over the Merritt Centennials and hoping to carry that momentum with them on the road tonight.
The Spruce Kings have been finding themselves in a series of close games and last night they came out on the right side of a one goal win holding off the Powell River Kings for the 2-1 victory. Four of the Spruce Kings last five games have all been one goal decisions with the lone exception being the win over Surrey.
In last night’s game, the Spruce Kings found themselves on the right side of the shot clock in all three periods with two early shots in the second period providing the difference in the game. Both plays originated in the Spruce Kings zone and both off the stick of Skylar Pacheco.
On the first goal, Pacheco spotted Jake LeBrun with a head man pass through the middle. LeBrun sidestepped one check before dishing off to Bryant Christian who got to the slot with good position. With a neat little snap shot that found just enough room on the far side to squeeze between the goalie and the post, Christian tied the game at 1 and notched his third tally of the season.
Less than two minutes later on a similar play Pacheco spotted Ryan Keis in the middle and fed a perfect outlet pass to the rookie. Keis, who had missed the past handful of games didn’t miss a beat in his return. Cool in the face of a big open ice hit coming, Keis was able to hold onto the puck just long enough before slipping it through to Justin Rai.
Streaking down the left side wall, Rai leaned into a wrister and whistled his fourth of the season into the back of the net giving the Spruce Kings the only lead of the game that they would need on this night.
The Spruce Kings have been defensively sound putting the old cliché about defense winning games to task. Last night Karan Toor and Skylar Pacheco were on top of their game in the absence of Trevor Esau who is expected to be out again tonight. Other scratches tonight include David London, Lyndon Martell, Tyson Witala, Trevor Esau and Tanner Fjellstrom who appeared to re-aggravate the injury that kept him out to start the season.
Over 1200 fans were in the Castle on Friday night to see the game and as many are expected again tonight. Bring your radios with your and listen to the live call of the game with Ron St. Clair, Todd Doherty and Peter James on 93.1 CFIS-FM. If you are unable to make it to the game in person you can listen live to the free audio online broadcast available at CFISFM.com or watch the pay-per-view broadcast on Fasthockey.com.