Penticton Vees (38-7-2-2)
Powell River Kings (26-16-0-9)
Venue: Hap Parker Arena
Game Time: 7:15pm
Season Series: 3-1 Vees, Dec 6th
Vees Road Record: 18-5-1-2
Vees Record vs. Island Division: 5-1-0-1
Vees Leading Scorer: Lewis Zerter-Gossage 17-25-42
Kings Home Record: 17-4-0-3
Kings Record vs. Interior Division: 4-5-0-1
Kings Leading Scorer: Jarid Lukosevicius 32-36-68
The Vees weekend road trip continues in Powell River tonight, as they face the second place team in the Island Division. This is the second and final meeting between these two teams in the regular season and the Vees won the first encounter 3-1 back in Penticton on December 6th.
The Vees started their road trip on a winning note last night, taking a 3-2 double-overtime win over the Chilliwack Chiefs. Gabe Bast was the OT hero, scoring 28-seconds into the second overtime period, as the Vees won for the sixth time in the last seven games.
Cody DePourcq and Connor Chartier also scored for the Vees and Hunter Miska made 27-saves for his league-leading 28th win. The Vees finished with a 10-0-1-0 record against the Mainland Division.
The Vees faced the top team in the Mainland Division last night and it doesn’t get any easier tonight, as the face the red-hot Kings. Powell River is six points up on Victoria for second place in the Island and are slowly creeping up on the Nanaimo Clippers, who are 10 points up on Powell River.
The Kings won their fourth in a row Friday, taking a 5-1 decision at home over the Langley Rivermen. The Kings have points in seven straight games, sporting a 6-0-0-1 record and have won their last eight on home ice. The win streak started back on Wednesday, January 28th, when the Kings nipped the Nanaimo Clippers 3-2 in overtime; that was on the road.
Their last loss at Hap Parker Arena was on New Year’s Eve, when they were upended 3-2 in overtime by Alberni Valley. Speaking of home ice dominance, the goal lights at the Hap have been working overtime, as the Kings have scored 19 goals in their last three home games. Tonight is the middle game of a six-game stretch at home.
If the Vees want to remain perfect on their road trip, they’re going to need to contain the dynamite top line of the Kings. Jacob Pritchard, Kurt Keats and Jarid Lukosevicius have accounted for 49 percent of the Kings goal-scoring. All three have 30 or more goals and Lukosevicius leads the way with a team-best 32.
Outside of the top three, the scoring drops off somewhat, as Brent Lashuk is fourth in team scoring but 28 points back of Keats who sits third with 60.
The “big three” scored all five goals for Powell River last night, as Jacob Pritchard bagged a hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Langley; Lukosevicius and Keats added singles.
Hunter Miska gets the start again tonight and is 28-8-2 on the year with a 1.89 goals-against average and a .929 save-percentage. Cody DePourcq picked up an injury last night and will not play tonight but it’s not believed to be too serious; he’s likely a go for tomorrow. Mitch Newsome takes his spot in the line-up after sitting Friday. Shayne Gwinner is probable for tonight.