Game Time: 6pm
Listen: EZ Rock AM 800
Season Series: Dec 6th at Penticton, Feb 7th at Powell River
Vees Home Record: 12-2-0-0
Vees Record vs. Island Division: 4-1-0-1
Vees Leading Scorer: Riley Alferd 17-17-34
Kings Road Record: 4-4-0-5
Kings vs. Interior Division: 1-2-0-1
Kings Leading Scorer: Jarid Lukosevicius 14-25-39
- Another three game week comes to a close for the Vees tonight. Tonight’s contest with the Kings is the Vees third in the last four days and this is the fourth time they’ll be doing it this season. The Kings are in the middle of a “three-in-three” road trip through the Mainland-Interior Division. The Kings head to the West Kootenays tomorrow with 3pm tilt against Trail. Of note, the Vees are 7-1-0-1 when they play three in four. As Kings broadcaster Alex Rawnsley pointed out, they’re 0-3 thus far in the middle game of three game weekends.
- Both teams were involved with Teddy Bear Toss games last night. The Vees went down 1-0 early in Vernon but scored three unanswered to go up 3-1 in the second, before taking a 4-3 win over the Vipers. The Kings battled the Surrey Eagles in a back-and-forth affair in Surrey. The Kings did have a 3-2 lead late in the third but the Eagles tied it with 13 seconds left, then won in overtime on a power-play. That win snapped the Eagles 16-game losing skid and handed the Kings their second straight overtime setback.
- Speaking of OT, the Kings have gone past regulation in 10 of their 27 games this year; they’re tied with West-K for the most overtime games. Overtime hasn’t been kind to the Kings, as they’re just 3-7-0 in the extra frame. Their only visit to the SOEC last year ended in OT too, as the Vees rallied for a 4-3 win after being down 3-1 in the final minute..AND the Kings have gone past regulation in three of their last five games. I guess what I’m trying to point out is expect a close, one-goal game tonight.
- Lots of Canadian flavour to tonight’s game. Between the two teams, nine players have been selected for the Canada West camp for the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge. Five Vees (Gabe Bast, Dante Fabbro, Miles Gendron, Tyson Jost and Demico Hannoun) and four Kings (Stefan Wornig, Carmine Buono, Jarid Lukosevicius and Kurt Keats) will head to Calgary tomorrow. The camp runs December 7-9.
- The Vees will have to find a way to shut down the top line of Powell River. Jacob Pritchard, Kurt Keats and Jarid Lukosevicius have combined for 50 of the Kings 95 goals. That accounts for 53 percent of their goal scoring. Lukosevicius leads the team in scoring with 39 points and is closely followed by Kurt Keats and his 37. Pritchard has 32 points to round out the top three. After that the Kings scoring drops off, somewhat, as fourth in team scoring is Stephen Hiff, who is nine points back of Pritchard. If the Vees are going to have any success, they’ll need to keep the big three off the scoresheet and force the Kings to try to manufacture offense from elsewhere.
- What line or lines will draw the assignment of going against the top unit of Powell River? I could see Riley Alferd, Jack Ramsey and Lewis Zerter-Gossage matching up with them. Hey, even the trio of Cam Amantea, Steen Cooper and Mitch Newsome might be given the task. The Vees have the advantage with being the home team and drawing the last change and that will be critical in the match up game.
- Brendan Barry gets the nod between the pipes. The 17-year-old rookie is 8-0-0 on the year and owns an impressive .925 save-percentage. Barry picked up his second career shutout in Langley last Friday in the Vees 6-0 win over the Rivermen. That will be he only change to the Vees line-up tonight, as the go with the same 18 skaters as they did last night.