The Penticton Vees (7-3-0-0) welcome the Mainland Division’s Prince George Spruce Kings (6-5-0-1) to the SOEC tonight. This is the second and final meeting between the two teams this season, as Prince George took the first encounter 4-3 in PG back on September 20th.
In that game, the Spruce Kings rallied for three unanswered goals late in the first after Vees opened the scoring. Brad McClure did tie the game early in the third on the power-play but the Spruce Kings used a power-play of their own to pull ahead for good late in the third. Jake LeBrun stole the spotlight in the contest, registering a hat-trick in the win, including scoring the game-winning goal.
thumping of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. After the ‘Dogs went up by one midway through the opening frame, the Vees came alive, scoring six unanswered goals to cruise to their fourth home win. Speaking of home, the Vees have yet to lose at the SOEC this season, as they’re a perfect 3-0 at the SOEC, outscoring their opponents 15-3; one “home” win was at the Bauer BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.
The “Trench Line 2.0” has been leading the way recently for the Vees, as Travis Blanleil, Cody DePourcq and Matt Serratore combined for three goals and six points in Saturday’s win; Serratore had replaced the injured Cam Amantea (upper-body) on right-wing. Blanleil and DePourcq have been the two hottest Vees of late. Blanleil is in the midst of a four-game point streak (3-4-7) and DePourcq has points in his last three (2-3-5).
The Vees will still be without Cam Amantea this weekend as he mends a nagging upper-body injury. Joining Amantea on the sidelines is Ryan Gropp who will miss this weekend’s set of games after sustaining a lower-body injury late last week. The Vees have called-up Shane Bennett, the younger brother of Beau Bennett, as he makes his Vees debut; Bennett currently plays for the Summerland Steam.
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The SOEC hasn’t been kind to the Spruce Kings since the building opened up in the fall of 2008. The Spruce Kings are 0-10-1-2 all-time in this building in the regular season. Prince George did manage a 2-2 tie back on February 18th, 2011. If you include the playoffs, the Spruce Kings are 0-13-1-2 at the SOEC and have been outscored 85-30 in those 16 games. The Spruce Kings have come close, twice losing in overtime and just last year they dropped a 4-3 decision on September 30th.
Last night Prince George’s road trip started off with a 4-1 setback in Merritt. Sebastian Pare led the way for the Cents’ scoring twice and finishing with three points. The Spruce Kings went down a pair of goals late in the first period and then gave up an early power-play goal in the second, finding themselves in a three-goal hole. Chad Staley managed to cut the deficit to two late in the middle frame but Pare scored his second late in the third to put the game out of reach.
The Spruce Kings are a bit banged-up, as they’re missing their top scorer in Jake LeBrun who’s recovering back in PG after being checked-from-behind on October 4thversus Vernon. LeBrun’s line-mate, Brent Lashuk has also missed the last handful of games due to an unspecified injury.