Venue: Hap Parker Arena
Game Time: Friday January 6th @ 7:15pm
The Prince George Spruce Kings (16-14-2-2) certainly felt they deserved a better result in their last meeting with the Powell River Kings (22-16-1-0).
In the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena, the Spruce Kings peppered Mitch Adamyk with 51 shots, but the netminder wouldn’t break as his team was able to hold onto a goal from Josh Coblenz for the 1-0 win. Prince George was 0 for 4 on the power play, while the Kings were unsuccessful on their lone chance. Last year the Spruce Kings were 0-2 against the Kings, and haven’t beat their fellow royal named opponents since October 17th 2014.
Last week the Spruce Kings ended a drought that actually stretched back to that very game. It was Prince George’s last regular season OT win, until Thursday December 29th where the northern group defeated the Langley Rivermen beyond regulation. Ben Brar scored the winner that night, with Tyler Anderson ending the game in double overtime the very next night. The overtime wins moved Prince George one point ahead of the Rivermen, and PG has one game in hand.
Against island opponents, Prince George is 3-4, with all three wins coming at home. They are 0-2 on the road with losses before the Christmas break in Cowichan Valley and Victoria.
WATCH on HockeyTV
LISTEN on Mixlr
In the midst of the playoff hunt, the Spruce Kings are in a good position ten points above the Surrey Eagles who sit 5th in the Mainland and out of a playoff perch. Points are going to hard to earn for PG with just four home games in the next two months. Langley was one of the hotter teams before the Christmas break, and took the Spruce Kings right down to the wire in both games to cap the year of 2016. The Rivermen are just one point back of PG, having played one more game.
On the island, Powell River is second, ten points behind the Victoria Grizzlies. With four of five teams making the playoffs, the Kings should feel comfortable 16 points ahead of fifth placed Alberni Valley. This game kicks off a three game home stand for Powell River, but that will be followed by a six game stretch on the road. Three points back with a game in hand, the Cowichan Valley Capitals are ready to pounce should the Kings falter.
WHO TO WATCH:
Ethan de Jong – FWD: After returning from trying out for the World Junior A Challenge with Team Canada West, de Jong went on a run of six points in four games. He was shutout last week agaisnt the Langley Rivermen in a span of games that saw the team score a combined 10 goals. As the season has progressed, de Jong has been tasked with more defensive duties, and has been paired with Brett Mennear as one of the pairing on the penalty kill. He may have not hit the scoresheet last week, but don’t expect that trend to continue this week on the island. In seven games against island teams, the forward has eight points.
Bryan Allbee – DEF: Playing forward until overtime, Allbee certainly made an impression in his Spruce Kings debut. During double overtime, he took the puck up on a two-on-one with fellow defenseman Tyler Anderson. Allbee fed the puck, and Anderson buried it for the game winner. Playing forward for the first 60 minutes, Allbee always seemed to make tape to tape passes in his debutwith Prince George since being acquired from the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL.
Josh Coblenz – FWD: The points haven’t been racking up for Coblenz a first year forward for the Kings, but of his two goals, one was a winner against Prince George. He is currently on a six game point drought which ties a season high.
Spruce Kings @ Alberni Valley Bulldogs – Saturday January 7th, 7:15pm – Weyerhaeuser Arena
Spruce Kings @ Nanaimo Clippers – Sunday January 8th, 2pm – Frank Crane Arena
Spruce Kings vs Vernon Vipers – Wednesday January 11th, 7pm – Rolling Mix Concrete Arena