Sunday, September 20, 2015

Spruce Kings/Rivermen Recap


                       0                                        Final Score                                       5

Goal Scorers
Szeto, Franco, Ginnetti, Fregona, Masson
Total Shots
1st Period Shots
2nd Period Shots
3rd Period Shots
0 for 7
Power Play
3 for 11
Nick Guerra
3rd Star

2nd Star
Justin Fregona

1st Star
Cameron Ginetti

Current Record

Dating back to the pre-season now, Prince George has scored one goal in their last four games. That goal came off a centring pass that went off a defenders leg. The Spruce Kings have been experiencing some turbulence, and the team has gotten off to a rough start of the season after getting shutout 5-0 by their rivals the Langley Rivermen.

Game Summary
The game didn’t start out too badly for the Spruce Kings, as they only allowed a single goal in the first period. Justin Szeto scored at just past the halfway mark of the frame, but that got the crowd of 2432 buzzing in the Langley Events Centre.

In the second the Spruce Kings would take an early too many men penalty, which would prove to be costly as the Rivermen scored while up a man, courtesy of Dominic Franco.

For a game that was the first between the two teams since their meeting last year in the playoffs, the first two periods were oddly lacking much grit. Then to finish up the second period Luc Soares and Jordan Schneider took roughing penalties, after the final buzzer went, but that was the first pushing match of any in the game.

Then the third period came around, and the two teams seemed to remember that they have a fierce rivalry to live up to. That came after Langley potted a pair of goals, starting with ex Grandview Steeler Cameron Ginnetti pinching down from the point on the power play, and booming one home for his first BCHL goal. Less than ten minutes later, Zachary Bleuler took a shot from the point, and took a double deflection that eventually made it’s way through the five hole of Sam Tanguay.

Obviously frustrated, the Spruce Kings would take one shot on net that the Rivermen didn’t appreciate. Skating in with the puck, Cavin Tilsley passed the blue line, but his team mate was a step off side, so the ref blew the whistle for offside. End of story right? Not quite. Tilsley then glided in between the circles, and poked the puck into the net as Didur skated into the corner to get some movement. Taking a shot after the whistle, and into the empty net is a big no-no so Langley let Tilsley knew what they thought of it. A brawl ensued, and Rider Stoglin dropped the mitts with Justin Fregona. The Rivermen forward would eventually wrestle Stoglin to the ground after both got in a few good shots. End of story right? Nope! With Stoglin covering his head on the ground, Fregona continued raining down blows. Adam Brubacher decided it was time to step in, and pulled the Langley player off his team mate.

Langley would wind up with the last laugh on that play, as they came away with a power play, and Zac Masson put one past for Tanguay for the teams fifth and final goal.

Not So Special
Once again, special teams were at the forefront for the team, as they were held scoreless on seven man advantages, and conceded three power play goals themselves. In three games they are now the only team in the BCHL without a power play goal, and have given up the most in the league with eight. Langley was ferocious on the penalty kill, and had a very aggressive duo up front with Dominic Franco and Adam Sinclair. Both took turns pushing the puck into the Spruce Kings zone, and then harassing the defenders as they went back to retrieve it.

One moment that could be considered a turning point was in the second period when the score was still just 2-0. The Spruce Kings had just drawn a second penalty, and were headed to a minute and a half of 5-on-3 hockey. That vanished quickly though, as Kyle Johnson took a cross checking penalty while back checking. The team still had a 4-on-3 opportunity, and probably created their best chances of the game (a few nice give and goes between Hoffman and Brubacher) but couldn’t get one past Didur.

In three regular season games, the team has only scored once, and part of that has to be put on the lack of opportunities. Game one against Wenatchee produced 18 shots, game two had 22, and in the match against Langley they managed a meager 10 shots in three periods. Remember also, that is ten shots…with seven power plays in the game. Yes man advantages were cut short by penalties of their own, but ten shots is still more likely to be seen in a period rather than a game. Bo Didur had a solid game, but didn’t need to make any spectacular saves. The Spruce Kings had two very good scoring opportunities in the game though. On the before mentioned 4-on-3, Brubacher would sit just above the hash marks on the inside of the circle, and pass the puck to Hoffman down on the goal line, and then unleash a canon on the return feed. They managed the exact same play three times in a span of twenty seconds, with two shots going high, and the other into the chest of Didur. Luc Soares also led a 3-on-1 rush, and took a shot looking for a rebound, but that was saved and held onto.

Tanguay the Hero
            Appearing in his first game with the Spruce Kings since being traded from the Aurora Tigers Sam Tanguay could only do much. He allowed five goals, but when the team in front only puts up 10 shots in the game that means a lot of time was spent in the Spruce King Zone. Tanguay made a number of stellar saves, and the damage certainly could’ve been a lot worse if it weren’t for the Quebec netminder.

Balanced Attack

With Bo Didur making just 10 stops in his shutout, he wasn’t awarded a star of the game, but picking the three was no easy task. Langley had 13 players with points, but not a single multi-point player. There were five separate players who put the puck in the net, so the accolades went to Fregona and Ginnetti who each scored. Nick Guerra was the third star from the Spruce Kings, and it was nice that he was honoured as he didn’t pick up a point, but did play a very strong game, and didn’t stand out for any bad reasons during the game. 

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