Last Year’s Matchup: Penticton
won both games, one in overtime.
Season Series: N/A
Prince George Home Record: 1-2-0-0
Spruce Kings Leading Scorer: Corey Hoffman (two goals, two assists)
Penticton Road Record: 3-1-0-0
Vees Leading Scorer: Tyson Jost (5 goals, 11 assists, 16 points) tied for
1st in BCHL
Player to watch:
Bryan Basilico – FW: The big power forward made a good impression for his
new team, scoring a goal on the power play in his first game of the season.
Basilico was acquired from the Trail Smoke Eaters just before the BCHL
showcase, and didn’t have time to make it, but as he’s already committed to
Lake Superior State University missing the showcase wasn’t the end of the world
for the twenty year old.
Matthew Stief – D: After 33 points in 58 games with Prince George last
year, Stief went down to Waterloo, and had a brief stint playing with the Black
Hawks. He is back with the team now though, and will be a welcome addition to
the backline. Unlike when Bechtel joined the team, Stief has been playing the
last month, so he should already be in game shape for tonight.
Tyson Jost- FW: Last night against the Merritt Centennials Jost had
a goal and four assists to give him 16 points on the year good for first in the
BCHL alongside Sheldon Rempal of the Nanaimo Clippers. Since he was held
scoreless in his first game, that means all 16 of those points have come in the
last six games, for a 2.7 points per game average.
Dante Fabbro- D: In seven games this season, the Whistler native is
also a point per game player with nine points in seven games. Last night
against the Centennials he had a goal and an assist. Like Jost, he is number
one in scoring for defencemen, and is again tied with a Nanaimo Clipper as both
he and Yanni Kaldis have nine points, but Fabbro has a game in hand.
In the Standings:
In the mainland division,
the Spruce Kings currently sit in fifth place, five points behind
Coquitlam, Chilliwack, and Langley. They have two games in hand on all those
teams, and have one in hand against Surrey who is just one point behind them.
With Wenatchee already looking like the Penticton of the Interior division
(guaranteed top spot) it will be the other five teams battling it out for the
final three playoff spots.
Speaking of Penticton,
they sit first not just in their division, but the entire BCHL. They are tied
with Powell River with for 12 points, but have a game in hand on them. Wenatchee
is just one point back of Penticton, and have a game in hand over Vees.
Limit the Damage:
A betting man would put
money on Fabbro and Jost putting points on the board tonight. The Spruce Kings
will do their best to shut down the two players, but it’s not like other teams haven’t
been doing that already this season. Prince George needs to make sure that they
at least limit the chances for both players. The pair are big and fast, so that
is going to be a very difficult job for whoever is tasked with looking after
them all night.
Keep the Chemistry Brewing
With a lot of new faces
in the lineup, the Spruce Kings haven’t had a lot of time to gel as a team, but
hopefully there won’t be changes for a while, so the team can now settle down.
Stief will be added into the lineup tonight, and that should help add some
defensive depth for the team who will definitely need it against the Vees.
Basilico and Hovde each have a game of experience under their belts with the
team now, so look for them to improve once again.
Avoid the Box like the Plague
Prince George has
struggled on the penalty kill this season, and if they send a march of players
to the box, that coud spell an early night for the team. Penticton enters with
the third best power play in the league, and it’s no wonder why with their
arsenal of weapons. There are usually at least a few penalties to each team in
a game, but the Spruce Kings just have to make sure they don’t take an foolish
penalties, because the Vees won’t hesitate to pounce on opportunities. Earlier
in the year, the team had a 6-2 lead over Surrey late in the third, and
continued to send out their top unit looking to rack up the points.
Broadcast Info: For all games, you can listen to the action on Mixlr