|For the first time this season, the Spruce Kings will host|
the Coquitlam Express in what is a Playoff Preview
Three teams in the Mainland Division now know that they will be in the playoffs and two of them meet each other this weekend for a double header. The Prince George Spruce Kings secured a playoff berth last weekend while the Coquitlam Express did the same last night on their home ice.
With four teams in the Mainland Division advancing to the post-season, seating in the division is very important in securing home ice advantage. The Spruce Kings currently sit in second place with 54 points while the Express are hot on their heels with 50 points in third place.
This weekend’s double-header could do a lot to determine momentum for the final stretch run to the playoffs. With four points at stake, the Express would like to catch the Spruce Kings; while Prince George would like to use their home ice advantage this weekend to double their points lead on Coquitlam.
The two teams come in to tonight’s game having found different results in their last games. The Spruce Kings lost a tough one after giving up four goals in the first period to the Nanaimo Clippers and couldn’t recover. Meanwhile, the Coquitlam Express never looked back in a 2-1 win over Merritt that saw Adam Rockwood score both goals including an unassisted shorthanded one that held up as the game winner.
Some recent injuries on the backend has led to the Spruce Kings making a couple of callups for tonight. While Prince George still waits to see Cooper Rush in the crown and will have to wait a few more weeks, Karan Toor is listed as day-to-day and will be out of the lineup tonight. Added to the list is Jesse Jenks who is recovering from a high hit last weekend.
With Jenks unable to suit up as a backup tonight, Riley Druskin has become an emergency callup. Druskin is a ’96 born goaltender from Prince George that has participated in previous Prospects Camps with the Spruce Kings. Jordan Low is another Prince George hockey product that has been playing this season with the 100 Mile House Wranglers and will suit up as an AP on the blue line in his first Junior A game.
For the Coquitlam Express, they come in to the game basically healthy and full of confidence with a five game winning streak that has saw them close the gap on Prince George. Perhaps the travel will play a factor in the game as this is their first trip North, but the hunger for second place may be the bigger factor in fueling the adrenaline for the visitors tonight.
The game will be broadcast live online with Ron St. Clair and Tom Bohmer providing the play-by-play and in-game analysis. The pay-per-view feed is available through Fasthockey.com and a free audio only webcast on the Spruce Kings Mixlr Channel beginning with a pregame show at 6:40pm.