GAME TIME: 7 p.m.
VENUE: Prince George Coliseum
LISTEN: EZ ROCK AM 800
WATCH: Fasthockey Pay-Per-View
OCT 23th: Vees at Spruce Kings JAN 11th: Spruce Kings at Vees
VEES ROAD RECORD: 5-1-0-0
VEES RECORD VS MAINLAND DIVISION: 1-0-0-0
VEES STREAK: Seven wins
VEES TOP SCORER: Tyson Jost (7-8-15)
SPRUCE KINGS HOME RECORD: 3-1-0-1
SPRUCE KINGS RECORD VS INTERIOR DIVISION: 0-0-0-0
SPRUCE KINGS STREAK: One win
SPRUCE KINGS TOP SCORER: Justin Rai (10-9-19)
The Penticton Vees are in Prince George for their first and only visit to the Coliseum this season. The Vees are red-hot, winners of seven straight and looking to extend their win streak to a season high eight games. The Vees host the Spruce Kings back at the SOEC on January 11th in the return leg of the two-game season series.
Tonight is the second game for the Vees against a Mainland Division opponent and first since opening night back on September 19th. The Vees thumped the Surrey Eagles 11-2 on that night and three of their next five games will be against the Mainland Division; two versus the Eagles.
The Vees struggles in Prince George in recent years have been well documented, as they’ve lost their last three games at the Coliseum and their last win came back on March 9th, 2012. Last season the Vees dropped a close 4-3 decision to the S-Kings. Since the 2011-2012 season the Vees are 2-3-0-1 in Prince George.
Demico Hannoun and Tyson Jost continue to wheel hot sticks, as the two are riding seven-game point streaks respectively. Hannoun has seven goals and 12 point over the span and Jost has four goals and eight points. Hunter Miska, who starts tonight, has won his last six starts and has only allowed eight goals during the run; just two against in his last three starts.
Special teams might be the biggest factor in tonight’s contest. Though the Vees power-play has struggled to start the season, operating at 16 percent, they have scored power-play goals in their last three. Their power-play might be the difference tonight because the Spruce Kings are the most penalized team in the BCHL and have taken 23 penalties in their last three games; the Vees will have to make the most of their opportunities.
The Vees will be without their Co-Captains again tonight, as Cody DePourcq and Patrick Sexton remain out. There might be good news on the horizon, as DePourcq could be back this weekend and Sexton might be ready for next week’s slate of games.
The Spruce Kings return home for a three-game home stand after a busy road schedule last week. The Spruce Kings went 2-2-0 on their recent four-game road swing down to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Prince George opened the trip with a 3-2 loss in Chilliwack, before rebounding with a 5-4 overtime win Powell River last Friday. Prince George then split games in Nanaimo and Port Alberni, losing 5-1 in Nanaimo Saturday, but wrapped up the trip with a 5-4 against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Sunday.
Prince George is looking up at Chilliwack at the top of the Mainland Division, as they’re two points back of the division leading Chiefs and have played two more games than Chilliwack.
The Spruce Kings pack an offensive punch, in particular their top line of Justin Rai, Chad Staley and Jeremiah Luedtke. The three 20-year-olds are 1-2-3 in team scoring and all three are in the top 15 in BCHL scoring. Rai leads the way with a team best 10 goals and 19 points, followed by Luedtke (5-12-17) and Staley (7-9-16). Rai has as many goals (10) as the Spruce Kings third and fourth lines combined.
Prince George boasts two quality goaltenders, as Jessie Jenks and Alex Brooks-Potts have split time between the pipes pretty evenly. Jenks is 5-1-0 on the season, sporting a 3.44 goals-against average and a .911 save-percentage. Brooks-Potts owns a 3-4-0 record and has a 3.11 goals-against average to go along with a .915 save-percentage.
The Vees forwards will have to take note of the Spruce Kings size on the blue-line. As a group, their average height is over six feet and they weigh in at 193 pounds.