Sunday, December 16, 2012

Game Preview: at Surrey Eagles

Spruce Kings are looking for their first win against
the Surrey Eagles since they added Brady Shaw

The Spruce Kings will head into the Christmas Break following their matinee game in Surrey against their Mainland Divisional rival the Eagles. Looking to build on last night's come-from-behind win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals, the Spruce Kings know they will have to remain focused on the game plan against a rested team that has found ways to win in extra time in the past three games against Prince George.

The Spruce Kings opened up a 2-0 season series lead on the Surrey Eagles with a 4-1 and 3-0 victory in early October. November was a different story as the Eagles picked up the extra point with overtime wins of 3-2, 2-1 and 3-2. The wins shifted the season series in favour of the Eagles as far as wins and losses go, but the Spruce Kings do maintain a 7-6 lead as far as points in those head-to-head games go.

When every point is important, those gained or lost in overtime become huge especially for two teams that have been battling each other the entire season for positioning in the standings. Currently the Spruce Kings have sole possession of second spot in the Mainland Division, one point ahead of the Eagles but Surrey does have three games in hand. A win today by Prince George will give the Spruce Kings some much needed breathing space in the standings before the team resumes play in early 2013.

The Surrey Eagles played one game this weekend back on Friday night scoring five goals in the second period against the Powell River Kings but couldn't that extra one even through ten minutes of overtime resulting in a 5-5 tie. The Spruce Kings were mauled in Victoria by the Grizzlies and looked to be suffering the same fate through the first twenty minutes in Duncan when the Capitals opened up a 3-0 lead. Things changed in the second period with the Cascade Express combining for three goals including the game winner with 2.3 seconds remaining in the middle frame (the third goal was scored by Skylar Pacheco to tie the game).

The Spruce Kings will be looking for offensive contributions from more than just the Cascade Express Line with the game being played on the Olympic sized rink in the South Surrey Arena. Along with offense, the Spruce Kings will need their defensive game to be just as strong and if they are to be successful - they will need to stay focused on the game plan for the full sixty minutes and possibly longer.

With this being the final game before the Christmas break, minds will start to wander as the players get ready to depart for their home towns and time with family and friends. Picking up two points will ensure that the holidays are enjoyed without leaving that lingering doubt that they let one slip through.

The game is a 4pm start time in Surrey and will be broadcast live; however it will not be on 93.1 CFIS-FM. A free online audio only broadcast will be available from the Spruce Kings MIXLR channel and the pay-per-view feed will be on

As mentioned, following the game the players and coaching staff will head off to their respective homes for the holidays and reconvene in Prince George on December 28th to prepare for the playoff push beginning with another Island and Coastal Conference roadtrip that will take the Spruce Kings to Powell River, Port Alberni and Nanaimo.

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