Friday, September 13, 2013

Home Opener

Puck drops on a new season tonight

It is one of the most exciting times of the year for hockey fans and hockey players … the home opener. Tonight marks the 42nd home opener for the Spruce Kings, a community owned team that has called Prince George home since its inception in the early 70’s.

Over the span of those years the team has had its fair share of ups and downs. When you sit on the bleachers and listen carefully you will hear the roar of the fans that have sat in the Coliseum over the years cheering the team on to its many divisional and league championships.

The history hanging from the rafters tells only a small portion of the story that gets a new chapter written every season. Every chapter details the challenges and achievements of those players that have worn the crown over the years.

This year a new crop of players will pull the crown on over their heads and start writing the next chapter. Like all good stories, the new chapter will pick up where the last one left off.

On Tuesday March 19th, these two teams engaged in an epic battle of two teams battling for a second round playoff berth. Just 28 seconds in to the game the captain opened the flood gates burying the game’s first goal and putting the home team on the board. Chilliwack would respond later in the first period to tie the game.

The second period started in much the same fashion as the first, with the Spruce Kings opening the scoring this time just 23 seconds in to the period. Once again it was Trevor Esau leading the royal troops and setting up Coltyn Hansen for the go-ahead goal.

Just past the mid way mark of the second game, another battle tested warrior helped to energize the home team and its appreciative fans. Kevin Guiltinan’s shot from the point found its way to Shayne Morrissey and eventually the back of the net for the eventual game winning goal.

In the third period the visitors fired everything they brought with them to Prince George but couldn’t get anything behind Kirk Thompson who sealed the door to the trophy room on this night. Both Coltyn Hansen and Shayne Morrissey would find the net empty at the other end of the ice to give the Spruce Kings a 5-2 win.

The win turned into a royal sendoff for the team from Prince George as they couldn’t duplicate the effort the following night in Chilliwack. Today the two teams with only a few soldiers that remember the epic battle will be on the ice to renew this developing rivalry in the Mainland Division of the BCHL.

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