Tonight the Prince George Spruce Kings will host their mainland divisional rival, the Langley Rivermen in a game that has top spot bragging rights at stake. These two teams have been all over each other over the past couple of weeks jockeying for that top spot and running away from the rest of the pack.
Earlier this week the Prince George Spruce Kings were recognized for their strong play, earning an honourable mention in the weekly CJHL Top Twenty rankings. Through the past thirteen games, the Spruce Kings have picked up points in twelve of them (9-1-2-1).
The Spruce Kings offense has blossomed during that time as well with Chad Staley leading the way. With an even split of 12 goals and 12 assists, Staley has climbed into the top five among the BCHL Leading Scorers with a total of 33 points (14G, 19A). Not far behind in point production is linemate Jeremiah Luedtke who compiled 23 points (5G, 18A) in the past thirteen games and currently has 26 points overall (6G, 20A).
Offensive production has also come from the defensive core led by Christian Weidauer who has compiled twelve points in the past thirteen games including a big game last Saturday night. While celebrating his 20th birthday, Weidauer was the deciding factor in the third period helping the Spruce Kings come from behind to tie and eventually win 4-3.
Tonight’s game is the fourth meeting of the season between these two divisional opponents and will be the last time they see each other until well into the new year. The first three meetings were all held in Langley with the Spruce Kings picking up five of a possible six points with 2 wins and an overtime loss. Beginning on February 13, 2014, these two teams will play each other another five times over a three week window.
The Langley Rivermen would like to use tonight’s game to extend their current two game winning streak and give their busy weekend schedule an adrenaline boost. After a Thursday night off, the Rivermen will play Friday in Penticton, Saturday in West Kelowna and then Sunday afternoon back in Langley versus the Chilliwack Chiefs. It is one of the longest road trips of the season for the Rivermen aside from an early season three game trip through the BCHL’s Island Division.
The Spruce Kings, who are very accustomed to long road trips and three game weekend sets, get an uncharacteristic break this weekend with Thursday, Friday and Saturday off to prepare for their battle royale with the Powell River Kings on Sunday afternoon at 3pm.
Tonight's game will be broadcast online with the pay-per-view feed from Fasthockey.com and a free audio only online broadcast from the Spruce Kings Mixlr Channel beginning at 6:40pm with a pregame show. Ron St. Clair and Matt Wakeham will have the call of the game beginning with the puck drop at 7pm.