Venue: Cominco Arena
Game Time: Saturday November 4th @7:30pm
The last time these two teams met could be considered a turning point in the Prince George Spruce Kings (8-8-0-2) season. They were 1-5-0-1 at the time, and were coming off a split the week before at the BCHL Bauer Showcase. There were six different goal scorers for the Spruce Kings, and they emerged with a 6-4 victory. Including that win they have gone 7-3-0-1 since the Showcase. With a heavy home schedule to start the season, the team needs those wins to build momentum heading to the final months where nearly every weekend will be spent on the bus.
In the team’s last seven games Prince George has lost just once, and that was a game they badly outplayed the Powell River Kings, but the Kings were able to hold on for a 1-0 win. The Spruce Kings have dominated teams on the shot clock in the recent span nearly doubling the other teams shots at 310 for compared to 163 against.
Trail has been on a roll as well lately having won seven of their last nine games. Like the Spruce Kings, the Smoke Eaters have balanced scoring, and are anchored by a number of top point producers. They have four players (Santerno, Howarth, Armour, Laframoboise) who are at or above a point per game pace while Prince George have one (Mennear).
The Spruce Kings are 3-2-0-1 against Interior opponents this year, and are undefeated when you exclude the Penticton Vees. Trail meanwhile has a 1-1 record against mainland teams having lost 6-4 to the Spruce Kings, and beating the Langley Rivermen 5-2 in Langley.
WATCH on HockeyTV
LISTEN on Mixlr
A few weeks ago just one point separated 3rd from 6th in the Mainland Division. Thanks to a number of divisional wins lately, Prince George now has a four point lead on Langley and Coquitlam with a game in hand over both of them, and are six ahead of Surrey. The Coquitlam Express play in Wenatchee tonight where the Wild look to avenge a 5-4 loss earlier in the season to the Express. Chilliwack will take on the up and down Nanaimo Clippers, and the Surrey Eagles will play the Langley Rivermen for the third consecutive game.
The Smoke Eaters meanwhile are in a jam of their own in the Interior Division. Penticton is well ahead of the pack already, but the three teams behind them are separated by just one point. With the recent playoff changes, all six teams from the Interior will get in, but the higher each team finishes, the later they’ll wait to play the Vees.
After an eight game point drought, Jamie Huber has three goals in his last two games while Parker Colley has scored in four of the last five. Tanner Campbell has assists in four straight games, good for fourth best in active streaks among the BCHL. The Spruce Kings have points in five straight.
In his last nine games, Luke Santerno has 13 points. Kale Howarth has in his last eight games has 13 points, and has been held without an assist in just one of those games. Trail has won two in a row at home which is a season high, they’re 4-5-0-0 at Cominco Arena.
WHO TO WATCH:
Travis Schneider – FWD: His first BCHL goal came this year against the Smoke Eaters, so look for the quick forward to look for more this time around. He has four points in his last four games, and had a diving goal on Saturday that just rolled over the shoulder of Coquitlam’s netminder.
Jamie Huber – FWD: Going from playmaker to goal scorer, Huber in just about every way possible. His first goal Friday was a gritty goal in front of the net, Saturday he started things off with a pure snipe into the top right corner, and completed the weekend taking a beautiful feed from Brett Mennear to secure the win. With some added confidence, look for the Spruce Kings to lean on Huber this weekend on a tough Intertior trip.
Trail Smoke Eaters
Kale Howarth – FWD: An eight game point streak gives Howarth the second best active streak in the BCHL. He had one goal against Prince George in his team’s visit north, and then went on a two game point drought before rebounding with his current attack.
Luke Santerno- FWD: He was a player to watch in the first contest with Prince George, and stole the spotlight for his side in a losing effort. The Smithers product had the GWG against PG as a member of the Cowichan Valley Capitals, and nearly played hero again with three points in the game back in September. His goal and two assists paced the Smoke Eaters offence.
Spruce Kings @ Penticton Vees – Saturday November 5th 6pm- South Okanagan Events Centre
Spruce Kings @ West Kelowna Warriors – Sunday November 6th 2:30pm – Royal LePage Place
Spruce Kings @ Surrey Eagle – Thursday November 10th, 6:30pm – South Surrey Arena