|The Spruce Kings will need to find a way vs the Rivermen|
It didn’t go quite according to plan last night as once again the Langley Rivermen jumped out to a three goal lead in the first period. The second period belonged to the Spruce Kings who outshot the visitors 28-5. In the third period, it was the affiliate player, Stephen Penner of the Cariboo Cougars, that provided the spark for Prince George with a nice assist and an even nicer goal scored from the right point.
The Spruce Kings will have to figure out the Langley Rivermen as they still have three games remaining against their Mainland Divisional rival. The Spruce Kings sit firmly in third place, six points behind the Chilliwack Chiefs and six points ahead of Langley. The Coquitlam Express still have something to say about playoff positioning and continue to hold the Spruce Kings magic number at four.
Mario Puskarich showed his offensive touch around the net last night adding three goals to make him the undisputed leading scorer in the BCHL. The hat trick gave Puskarich the League lead with the most goals scored (34) and brought his season points total to 69.
Perhaps a bit of a surprise performance last night came from Mark Whiteley who jumped up three spots in team scoring with his four assists for the Langley Rivermen. The Spruce Kings did get goal production from Bryant Christian, Cameron Lawson and the AP Stephen Penner who scored his first BCHL goal in his first BCHL game.
With Kevin Guiltinan, Karan Toor, Jeremiah Luedtke and Justin Rai all sidelined for tonight’s game, the Spruce Kings will have three APs on the bench - Kody Disher, Stephen Penner and Braiden Epp. Disher, a call up from the Castlegar Rebels, will be playing in his seventh consecutive game while Penner will be playing in his second game as will Epp, who is committed to the Spruce Kings for next season.
The Spruce Kings have had good luck with the players they have called up as seen in recent games where Liam Blackburn scored his first BCHL goal in a game against the Surrey Eagles and last night with Penner scoring his first. Certainly tonight some of those Prince George chances that were turned away will need to go in to restore the Spruce Kings eight point cushion on the Langley Rivermen and lower the Spruce Kings magic number to clinch.
Game time tonight is 7pm with Ron St. Clair providing the play-by-play, Peter James and Ron Gallo will start it all off with the pregame show beginning at 6:35pm on 93.1 CFIS-FM. The game will also be available online with the free audio broadcast from the Spruce Kings MIXLR.com and as a pay-per-view broadcast from FASTHOCKEY.com.
After tonight, the Spruce Kings will have seven games remaining in the regular schedule including another home ice double header against the Langley Rivermen, two in Coquitlam, a single in Chilliwack and home dates against the Vernon Vipers and the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to wrap up the 2012/13 campaign.