: Langley Events Centre
FUN FACT: This will be the first time the Langley Rivermen have ever hosted the Prince George Spruce Kings in a home opener.
Last weekend was one to forget to for the Prince George Spruce Kings. They played the Wenatchee Wild in a home double header, and wound up getting outscored 13-1 in the two games. Game 1 ended in a final score of 5-1, and Game 2 was 8-0 with Detroit Red Wings prospect Chase Perry picking up both wins and the one shutout. The Spruce Kings had a rough time on special teams as well, and currently rank last in both aspects (although to be fair it’s only two games in). The power play continued the struggles it encountered in the pre-season, and went 0 for 9 against the Wild. The penalty kill was good on Friday, killing off 6 of 7 penalties, but dropped off Sunday allowing four goals on seven opportunities.
Corey Hoffman scored the lone goal on the weekend, with a centring pass aimed for Jake LeBrun that went off a defenceman’s leg and in. In the first game against the Wild, LeBrun was given a game misconduct for a hit from behind, and was suspended two games. He missed the 8-0 loss, and will now be out for Saturday’s game against Langley. The captain can’t be happy about missing the game, as it will be the first game against the Langley Rivermen since the Spruce Kings knocked them out of the playoffs last year.
This game will be a good test for the Spruce Kings, to see how they compete against the rest of their division, as it seems pretty solidified that Wenatchee will be a tough one to beat. Prince George acquired netminder Sam Tanguay as well this past week from the Aurora Tigers. Tanguay spent last year in the OHL where he played with the Sudbury Wolves, and as a 20 year old will be expected to come in, and produce some solid numbers for the team in net.
The Langley Rivermen don’t have a lot of work coming into this game, as their lone game of the season was last weekend against the Surrey Eagles. The Rivermen broke out in the first with four goals, and never looked back scoring twice in the third to take a 6-3 decision. Special teams were fairly average for Langley, as their power play finished at 17% and the PK had a 75% success rate.
In net for his third season with the team, Bo Didur stopped 33 shots for the win. Didur led the BC Major Midget League in GAA in 2012/2013, and has since been in the BCHL. The fact that he came to the league as a 16 year old is extremely impressive, especially since the fewest games he’s ever played is 24 games so he’s never had to sit and watch the majority of season’s from the bench. That experience will come in handy this year, and will help in his BCHL future as well!
The game will be played in the Langley Event Centre, and should be bumping as it will be Langley’s season opener. Their average attendance last year was 842, but the first home game had 3,168 fans in the venue. This year should be no different, as the team has 2014 BC Country Music Awards Club Act of the Year The Chris Buck band in attendance. There are also reports that there will be a fireworks display at the game to kick things off, so things will be starting out with a bang!