Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eight Gifts In One

Standing in the mall it is not hard to tell that Christmas is only mere days away. People are frantically wandering from store to store looking for that just right item to wrap and put under the tree for that somebody special. Sometimes it is imperative to find multiple items and hope that the combination is the right one to impress that person on the gift list.

Well here`s an idea to consider to help cross off a person or two from your gift list ... a Spruce Kings Show Home Lottery ticket. The ticket comes with a total of eight more prizes to be drawn after Christmas, making it like you are giving eight gifts with one little package.

The next seven early bird prizes include a season ticket package consisting of four adult season tickets to the Spruce Kings 2011-12 BCHL season. There is also the $3200 RONA Gift Card, a Mexican Riviera Cruise valued at over $5000, a Las Vegas Get-Away valued at $3000, a Disney Family Vacation worth over $6000 and two cash draws of $2500 each.

Then on April 14th that one ticket becomes eligible for the Grand Prize of the Spruce Kings Show Home. Located at 2620 Links Drive in the Aberdeen Glen Subdivision, the house features a ground level entry and 1520 square feet on the main floor. The Grand Prize will also include the $12,000 worth of stainless steel Bosch appliances and a television that mounted into its own little area above the fireplace mantel.

So when you are thinking of that last minute gift idea for that special someone on your gift list, think of the Spruce Kings Show Home Lottery ticket. They are available at the Show Home itself from 10am - 6pm daily, Pine Centre Mall during Mall hours, Canadian Tire from 9am - 5pm daily as well as select retailers around town or by phone - 250.962.IWIN (4946) or toll free around the province of BC 1.888.962.IWIN.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Member of the Century Club

In his 151st game in the British Columbia Hockey League - all with the Prince George Spruce Kings - Justin Fillion notched a power play goal and helped set up Brandon Watson’s first as a Spruce King. A goal and an assist may not seem like much until you realize that the twenty year old defenceman came into the game with 99 career points.

The two points Fillion picked up on Friday night put him into the Spruce Kings Century Club, a fairly exclusive club that only had four members prior to the Spruce Kings game against the Cowichan Valley Capitals on December 3rd.

With the team on a powerplay and the faceoff in the offensive zone to the left of the Capitals’ netminder, Lyndon Martell took the draw and won it straight back. Standing just under the blue line in the high slot, Fillion wasted no time and fired the one-timer that beat Chase Martin at 12:23 of the second period. The goal evened up the score at two apiece and provided some momentum for the home team.

Just under five minutes later Justin Fillion was able to get the puck out of his one zone and onto the stick of Trent Murdoch setting up a two-on-one. With the defenceman committing to the puck carrier, Murdoch was able to dish off a neat pass behind his back to a streaking Brandon Watson.

In his first game as a member of the Spruce Kings squad, Watson was able to go in all alone on Martin and as he faded to his backhand, he roofed a shot on the goaltender’s blocker side. The goal spotted the Spruce Kings to a 3-2 lead late in the second period and pushed Fillion over the 100 point mark and into fourth spot over all for defenceman in the Century Club.

It will take something of a miracle to catch the number one seed in the Club as David Keough has 200 points in 202 games over four seasons with the Spruce Kings. Second on the list is the Carolina Hurricanes 3rd round pick from 1999, Brad Fast with 126 points. As an active player, Fillion stands to catch Ryan deVries in 3rd spot with 115 points. Zach Davies is the other member of the Century Club with exactly 100 points.

RJay Berra and Nic DeSousa are both closing in on the Century Club; DeSousa has 94 points while the Spruce Kings captain has 92.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dave Dupas Speaks to the Trades

Hockey can be a fun sport to both play and watch, but sometimes the realty of the game sinks in and that realty isn't always kind. Such was the case following the December 1st player card cut-down date. On this day every junior hockey team is limited to twenty-five player cards for the remainder of the season.

December 1st becomes one of those days when you come to expect trades to be made as teams try and sure up their 23 man roster. The inner office becomes a buzz of activity with members of the hockey operations staff manning the phones and trying to get players that will strengthen the team. In all of this, some hard decisions have to be made that will impact the makeup of the dressing rooms.

Following the December 1st deadline, the Spruce Kings were a team that saw some players moved out and new players named to come in. Released from the team were Brendon Fornwald ('91 F), Riley Spraggs ('91 F) and twenty year old goaltender Alex Wright. None were the subject of a trade but were given their release as the Spruce Kings brought in two players from the Junior B ranks in Cameron Large and Brandon Watson.

Cameron Large is no stranger to the Prince George Spruce Kings having attended camps over the past two years here and battling hard enough to earn the respect of the scouts and coaches. This respect was well deserved with the right handed goaltender showing great numbers in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League with an 11-2 record and a 2.45 goals against average and 92.3 save percentage.

Brandon Watson is familiar with the Spruce Kings having played against Prince George last season as a member of the Quesnel Millionaires. This season with the Osoyoos Coyotes of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, Watson has an impressive 15 goals and 13 assists through 24 games. Impressive because he has also handed 106 minutes in penalties showing that he can be a fierce competitor and willing to battle in the dirty areas.

One trade was made and that was for Mike Puddifant in exchange for future considerations with the Nanaimo Clippers of the BCHL. Puddifant is solid defenceman that can be tough to play against. As I found out from Dave Dupas, the head coach of the Spruce Kings, Puddifant can help to fill a need on the blue line and make the team stronger defensively.

I spoke with Dave Dupas after the dust had settled on the changes and went through the player moves and took a brief look ahead to this weekend's pair of games against the Cowichan Valley Capitals (Friday at 7pm) and the Victoria Grizzlies (Saturday at 7pm).

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