The Prince George Spruce Kings find themselves on 99.3 the Drive tonight for the final regular season installment of the Prince George Motors Feature Game of the Month. Game number 50 in a 58 game regular season schedule has the Spruce Kings hosting another team that is looking to secure top spot in their division.
The West Kelowna Warriors come in to tonight’s game hot on the heels of the Penticton Vees in the Interior Division just two points back and with a game in hand. Through 49 games, the Warriors have compiled an impressive record of 30 wins, 13 losses, 3 ties and 3 overtime losses. Equally impressive is their league leading road record (16-4-2-3) that has netted them 37 of their 66 points.
The Warriors are a deep team and have the numbers to show for it averaging a league’s second best 3.71 goals per game. Those goals come from throughout the roster with just one player showing up on the League’s Top Twenty leaderboard.
Jason Cotton comes into the game tonight with 50 points (21G, 29A) but it is the list of players below him that shows off the depth with nine players in double digits for goals and better than 30 points on the season. Combined the team’s top ten have 164 goals and 225 assists and only one of those are a defenceman. Taki Pantziris is the top D-man with 13 goals and 20 assists.
The Spruce Kings are in line with the Warriors as far as average goals per game go with 3.41. They too have a long list of offensive weapons up front but their strength comes from the defense with five blueliners contributing big numbers to the team’s overall offensive output. From the blue line back, the Spruce Kings allow fewer goals against than the Warriors (2.71 vs 2.84) and that will be where this game is won or lost tonight.
Perhaps last night was a lesson learned for the Spruce Kings who found themselves in a run and gun situation with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. The visitors tried to wear down the Prince George defenders and were peppering shots on net from everywhere in the zone. To come away on the wrong side of a 2-1 score stung, especially after the team felt they created better chances throughout the game.
The last time these two teams met, the Prince George Spruce Kings were the ones that capitalized early and then held on for the rest of the game to post a 3-2 win on October 12th in West Kelowna. In that game, Skylar Pacheco, Justin Rai and Christian Weidauer all scored in the first period while keeping the Warriors at bay the rest of the way.
Tonight's game is the sixth installment of the Prince George Motors Feature Game of the Month on 99.3 the Drive, a feature that has proven fruitful for the Spruce Kings who come in to the game with a 5-0 record. The game will be broadcast live on 99.3 the Drive and we encourage all listeners to tune in to the game at 99.3 on the FM dial or listen from the radio station's website (CLICK HERE to launch the audio player). The game will also be broadcast live online with the pay-per-view feed available through Fasthockey.com and it's usual audio only online option on the Spruce Kings Mixlr Channel beginning with a pregame show at 6:45pm.