Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Playoff Game Preview: Game 4 vs Chilliwack Chiefs

facing elimination, the Spruce Kings are
forced to fight for their playoff lives tonight

The Prince George Spruce Kings come into tonight’s game facing elimination in their best of five Mainland Divisional semi-final series with the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Last night the Spruce Kings had difficulties getting going at the start of each period giving up a goal in the first minute of each period in a 5-3 loss. Tonight the Spruce Kings will have to answer that early push by the visitors who are feeling quite confident of themselves and looking to be shaking hands at the end of the night before returning home to Chilliwack.

Chilliwack built up a 3-0 first period lead on a pair of goals from Phil Zielonka and the other from Austin Plevy. Early in the second period it was a 4-0 game when Mathieu Tibbet finished a three-way play.

The Spruce Kings answered back while on a two-man advantage with Coltyn Hansen standing on the top of the crease where he was able to get a stick on a blast from the point by Mark Begert. The goal was Hansen’s third of the post season and seemed to give the Spruce Kings some much needed life.

An unfortunately play early in the third proved to be too much for the Spruce Kings to overcome when Luke Esposito intercepted a puck in the high slot and was able to move in on Kirk Thompson and restore Chilliwack’s four goal margin on Prince George.

A laser beam shot from the left point by Trevor Esau and a display of stick handling and skating finesse by Jake LeBrun resulted in the only other goals that Prince George was able to come up with on Monday night. Tonight the home team will not only need to find some more goals but will have to be defensively sound in order to avoid elimination.

These two teams split the first two games in Chilliwack and now Prince George fans will be looking for the split again, which will force a deciding game five to be played on Wednesday in Chilliwack.

Elsewhere in the BCHL Powell River has a chance to upset the top seed in the Island Division as the Kings have a 2-1 lead over the Victoria Grizzlies with game four tonight in Powell River.

The Surrey Eagles scored six unanswered goals after the Langley Rivermen opened the scoring to give the Eagles a 2-1 series lead there. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs avoided elimination last night and posted a 4-1 win over the Nanaimo Clippers.

In the best of seven Interior Division series, the Penticton Vees are one win over from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks from advancing while the Merritt Centennials picked up their first win against the West Kelowna Warriors.

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