Sunday, December 9, 2012

Game Preview: vs Coquitlam Express

Mark Begert (2) scored the game's first goal
Chad Staley (22) scored twice last night

This is the final home game for the Prince George Spruce Kings prior to the Christmas Break and the final home game of 2012. The Spruce Kings started the second half their season last night with a big 6-4 win over their Mainland Division rival – the Coquitlam Express – and will be looking to duplicate that effort to wrap up their three game home weekend.

Prior to the game, the Spruce Kings coaching staff asked their players for consistency and asked Santa for some goals – they got both. The Spruce Kings never trailed opening four one goal leads before putting some distance on the scoreboard in the second period. The Coquitlam Express never went away and showed great resilience with quick responses to all three first period goals that Prince George scored.

Former Express defenceman, Mark Begert opened the scoring and brought out a shower of donated items for the St. Vincent de Paul Society in the annual “Drop the Gloves and Sock It to ‘Em” game. With time running down on their first powerplay, Begert stepped into a shot from the blue line that may have been deflected by a defender on its way past Cole Huggins.

After the items were cleaned up, the Express only needed 2:30 to work with before evening up the score when Will Cook found the back of the net. The Spruce Kings would score again this time with Shayne Morrissey in the penalty box to regain their one goal lead but on the same penalty just 16 seconds later, the Express tied it up again. The Spruce Kings would once again take back their one goal lead only to have the Express answer back before the end of the first.

The Spruce Kings would claim their fourth lead of the game early in the second period after Jace Hennig was first to an errant puck caught in the back of the net, giving it to Morrissey in front. Morrissey would add a second and the eventual game winner later in the second period. By all accounts it was an entertaining game as the Spruce Kings with all players contributing whether offensively or defensively to the cause.

Certainly that will be the expectation again today as the two teams meet again for the matinee repeat performance. The Express were very much in this game right til the end and will be looking to create and capitalize on their chances now that they have a little better feel for the bounces in the Coliseum.

Even without their 2012 NHL Draft Pick – Alexander Kerfoot was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the 5th round – the Express are a very potent offensive team led by John Siemer (15G, 21A) and Philip Zielonka (14G, 9A). Both those players picked up points last night as did their key defensive players in Brad Ryan (5G, 15A) and Marc Biega (1G, 7A).

The Spruce Kings have three more games on the road next weekend vs the Victoria Grizzlies, Cowichan Valley Capitals and Surrey Eagles before the Christmas Break.

Please note that today's game starts at 3:00pm in the Coliseum and will not be broadcast on 93.1 CFIS-FM. The free online audio broadcast will be available from and the pay-per-view broadcast on Following the game, fans and volunteers will get to skate with all the players in a free skate with the Spruce Kings until 6pm.

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