Saturday, March 2, 2013

Game Preview: vs Langley Rivermen

Cameron Lawson (7) feathers one to Bryant Christian (11)
in Spruce Kings 6-3 win last game vs Langley

It is turning in to a fight for third place in the Mainland Division and the two battling for that spot take centre stage tonight. The Langley Rivermen have been hovering just below the Prince George Spruce Kings in the standings and this weekend could be a turning point for that slot.

The Spruce Kings have a five point cushion on the Rivermen heading in to this double header weekend. Prince George has three games remaining while Langley has a game in hand. As well as being hungry, the visitors tonight should be seen as a desperate team trying to shake a Coquitlam squad who still have a fighting chance to catch Langley for the last playoff spot.

Adding to the plot and changing the over under in this game tonight is the fact that the Langley Rivermen had no choice but to drive through the night to get to Prince George. Last night the Rivermen defeated the Chilliwack Chiefs 4-3 in regulation time and found themselves on the bus shortly afterwards in what can only be seen as a scheduling nightmare for the team.

The Spruce Kings are used to the travel up and down Highway 97 and through the Fraser Canyon. It can be a grind and it can take a lot out of the players, but sometimes it becomes a rallying point for the team on the bus. Neither team can afford to over think what affect an overnight bus ride will have on a game, it will be decided by sticking to what works and staying focused on the task at hand.

It all makes these final games of the regular season an exciting and nervous time for all involved. On the other hand, the Spruce Kings can play the role of spoiler and solidify their hold on third place with a win. A regulation time decision for Prince George would give them 59 points, seven more than Langley and the Rivermen would only have three games remaining.

This particular season matchup features a total of nine games with seven of them already decided. Prince George can actually even the season series with a pair of regulation time wins. Langley has eight points in head-to-head meetings so far with four regulation time wins and two overtime losses. The Spruce Kings have the two overtime wins and a 6-3 win the last time these two met.

In that game, Cameron Lawson was the hero scoring a hat trick and adding two helpers. One night earlier, Lawson also had a goal and an assist against the same team. Mario Puskarich continues to be the player to watch on the visitor’s squad with his League leading 80 points (38G, 42A) to his credit.

In what could be seen as a battle of wills to overcome, tonight’s game has all the makings of another exciting chapter in the Spruce Kings 2012-13 season. Game time tonight versus the Langley Rivermen is 7pm and will be broadcast on 93.1 CFIS-FM beginning with the Treasure Cove Casino pregame show at 6:35pm. Ron St. Clair and Todd Doherty will have the call of the game on the Spruce Kings channel and pay-per-view feed through

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