First, on Friday night the two teams played in Prince George where the Spruce Kings dropped a 7-4 decision (with one goal coming as a result of an empty net). That was a bit more of a young stars game though, as between the two teams there was one player born in 1996, and others were all born in 97, 98, or 99. The Spruce Kings never trailed going into the third period tied at four goals apiece. The Centennials were sparked by power play goals though, and Josh Tetlichi who came in to play the second half of the game in net, and didn't allow a single past him.
The bright spots for the team though were the play and chemistry of Cavin Tilsley and Parker Colley. The pair each scored a goal in the game, and then assisted on one another’s goals.
Looking for revenge, the team headed out for Merritt the next morning. After a long bus ride, and a dinner at Whitespot in Kamloops, the team arrived at Nicole Valley Arena. Some of the guys from the East who hadn't done the drive before marvelled at what a nice drive it was coming down the valley to Merritt. The arrival time was sooner than expected, so the team browsed around the rink, and grabbed some snacks nearby. Finally before they started their official warmup, they juggled a soccer ball amongst themselves.
Game two had Merritt suiting up a young lineup similar to the previous night, but the Spruce Kings wanting to get chemistry boiling for the season played a much more experienced team that was close to what the opening day roster will look like. They wound up taking a 4-1 decision, and the top line of Corey Hoffman centring Jake LeBrun and Luc Soares sparkled. Soares scored twice and added an assist, Hoffman potted the first goal of the game and had two assists, and captain LeBrun chipped in two assists himself. Alex Brooks-Potts had a solid game in net, and the defence in front of him did a good job of limiting chances.
Coming up this week, Prince George will travel to Grand Prairie on Tuesday, and then play host to the Vernon Vipers on Friday before playing the team again on Saturday in Vernon. Friday’s game against the Vipers will also be broadcast on FASTHockey.