|Cole Todd (16) celebrated his first BCHL goal|
last Sunday against the Coquitlam Express
GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!
Today marks the start of the New Lunar Year and the Chinese Year of the Wooden Horse. That could be taken as a good omen for the Prince George Spruce Kings where wood is still the primary industry; quietly contributing to the overall economic success of the Province. That same work ethic has been seen in the Spruce Kings this season as they continue their steady push for the playoffs.
Guaranteed a playoff spot, the team has been strengthening it’s core and working on systems to make themselves better to prepare for any team they should meet in the first round of post-season play. As it stands right now, that team would be the Coquitlam Express and for the second weekend in a row the City of PG will get to witness this playoff preview.
Last weekend saw these two teams skate to a 3-3 double overtime tie on the first night with Prince George claiming an outright win the second night on the strength of a 5-1 victory. Both games were well attended and the atmosphere in the Coliseum was that of a playoff game from years gone by.
The players and fans alike are hoping for a similar vibe tonight as the Spruce Kings play host to their Mainland Divisional opponent again. The Coquitlam Express returned home after last weekend for a midweek game against the Surrey Eagles that saw the Express give up ground to the Eagles; ground that Coquitlam will want to make up on both Surrey and of course Prince George.
Getting right down to the action shouldn’t be a hard feat as both teams remember all too well how the last meeting ended with a parade to the penalty box. Some of those penalties resulted in game misconducts and even a game suspension for Zach Hodder. Hodder’s suspension has since been served, but Joey Santucci will be out of the lineup tonight serving the first of a two game suspension he received for an incident on Wednesday night versus the Surrey Eagles.
In Saturday night’s game, Danny Kiraly was caught from behind and pushed into the end boards, crashing heavily leaving the rookie defenceman motionless. Since the incident, Kiraly has passed the concussion protocol and was seen skating with the team on Thursday and Friday but will not dress for tonight’s game.
Will the bad blood boil over tonight? Of course only time will tell, but for the Prince George Spruce Kings, they just want to go out and play their game. Keeping the game simple and effective will be the game plan as they are still down two key defenceman. Cooper Rush remains a few weeks away with his injury and is hopeful to return before the end of the regular season.
The game will be broadcast live online with the pay-per-view feed available through Fasthockey.com and a free audio only webcast on the Spruce Kings Mixlr Channel beginning with a pregame show at 6:40pm.