Prince George Spruce Kings vs. Surrey Eagles Game Day Preview
The 2019-2020 BCHL regular season is finally here! The Spruce Kings get set to host their division rival Surrey Eagles in game 1 of the 58 game schedule tonight at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena. Tonight is also the banner raising night, where 4 banners will be raised prior to opening puck drop. The 4 banners will represent the 2018-19 Spruce Kings Fred Page Cup championship, the Doyle Cup championship, the Mainland Division championship, and the Coastal Conference championship. Opening puck drop will be scheduled shortly after 7:00 tonight.
PRINCE GEORGE SPRUCE KINGS
The Spruce Kings enter the 2019-2020 season with several new faces, and a handful of returners. Those returners include forwards Nick Poisson, Chong Min Lee, Nolan Welsh, Corey Cunningham, and defenseman Nick Bochen.
Alex Evin was named the team’s new head coach after serving as an associate coach for the last two seasons under now former head coach Adam Maglio. Maglio is now with the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs as an associate coach. In steps Jessie Leung, who is now the new associate coach for the Spruce Kings. Leung previously worked for the Trail Smoke Eaters as an associate coach. The Vancouver native also served as head coach and assistant coach for the Valley West Giants of the BC Major Midget League where he won a league championship.
The Surrey Eagles suffered a tough season last year finishing with just 13 wins in the 58 game schedule and missed the post-season. It has been a busy off-season for the organization where only 3 players from last year’s club remain on the 2019-2020 roster including Cody Schiavon, Holden Katzalay, and Bradnon Santa Juana. Cam Keith steps in as the team’s new bench boss where he previously worked with the Chilliwack Chiefs as an Associate Coach.
WHO’S UP FRONT?
PG: With a lot of players aging out in Junior Hockey or moving onto to play NCAA hockey, GM Mike Hawes had a busy off season bringing in some new faces to the BC northern capital. Returners Nick Poisson, Fin Williams, Chong Min Lee, and Nolan Welsh however, lead the Spruce Kings forwards and will look to produce on a nightly basis throughout the season. Williams was called up late in the post-season as a 15 year old and delivered each and every single night he stepped foot on the ice. Poisson and Lee also had big moments throughout the season and playoffs and look to do the same in the 2019-20 campaign. Preston Brodziak joins the Spruce Kings who was previously a member of the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The 20 year old forward was a catalyst in the Cinderella run the Capitals had in the BCHL playoffs last season. Burnaby Winter Club products Brett Pfoh and Carter Cochrane both had bright spots throughout the pre-season and will look to transcend that into the new campaign. The Spruce Kings also acquired Thomas Richter who is committed to Union College and is the son of 1994 Stanley Cup Champion, and 2002 Olympic Silver Medalist goaltender Mike Richter.
SUR: Much like the Spruce Kings, the Eagles have a lot of new faces up front. Hudson Schandor was acquired by the Eagles this past off-season from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The North Van product finished with 31 points in 41 games last season. Holden Katzalay, one of the returning forwards for the Eagles was one of the top scorers on the team last season notching 14 goals and 16 assists in 52 regular season games. The young squad also has some American flavor including JJ Fecteau out of Georgia and Kenny Riddett from New York.
WHO’S ON THE BACK END
PG: A lot of different faces will man the blue line this season for the Spruce Kings. Nick Bochen is the only remaining defender from last year’s championship team and will log big minutes for the Spruce Kings this season. Brendan Hill out of South Lyon, Michigan is a shifty and a good puck moving defenseman, and will also be an attribute to the Spruce Kings blue line. Amran Bhabra, one of the highly touted 16-year-old defenseman in this league will also be a factor this year for the Kings. The Spruce Kings also acquired 20-year-old Sol Seibel from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Seibel captained the Silverbacks last year, and will look to provide leadership both on and off the ice in the 2019-2020 season.
SUR: Cody Schiavon will be one of, if the not the top minute grabber for Surrey this season. Schiavon is the captain of the club and one of the 3 returning players coming into the new campaign. Cade Alami is one of the many new faces on the Eagles and could be one of the most exciting newcomers to the BCHL. The 6’7 American defenseman was on the NHL draft radar last season, despite being injured for the entire 2018-19 season. Alami is also committed to Providence of the NCAA.
WHO’S BETWEEN THE PIPES:
PG: Two new faces will dawn the crease for the Prince George Spruce Kings. Reigning CJHL goaltender of the year Jett Alexander is looking for a big 20-year-old year. The 6’5 Ontario native posted 1.68 Goals Against Average with the OJHL’s North York Rangers. Jack McGovern enters his 18 year old after having a breath-taking season in the GOJHL where he had just 3 losses all season.
SUR: The Eagles also will have two netminders brand new to the BCHL. Thomas Scarfone out of Quebec. The 5’11 170 pounder is likely to get the start for Surrey tonight. The other goaltender is 01 born Cal Schell out of Burlington, Ontario. The 6’3 194 pound goaltender will likely get the nod on Saturday night.
You can catch all of tonight’s action on HockeyTV , or listen live on 93.1 CFIS. Tis the season, hockey is back!