Tonight – Prince George Spruce Kings (8-4-0-1) at Langley Rivermen (7-5-0-0)
7:15 p.m. at George Preston Arena in Langley
Presented by the BCIHL
Ben Poisson had a hat trick, including the game-winning goal with less than five minutes to play as the Spruce Kings held off the Rivermen to win their only previous meeting 4-3. Nick Bochen added three assists for Prince George, while Alec Capstick, Tanner Versluis and William Stromp scored for Langley.
Spruce Kings fowards Dustin Manz and Patrick Cozzi have points in four straight games. Manz has put up two goals and four assists over that stetch, while Cozzi has a goal and three assists. Team captain Ben Poisson leads Prince George in points with 12 (5-7-12) in 13 games, followed by Cozzi who has 11 (3-8-11). Nick Bochen leads the charge from the back end with 10 points, 11th most among all BCHL dmen. Spruce Kings goalie Logan Neaton has a record of 6-2-0 with the sixth-best goals-against average in the league at 2.39.
Langley is led by goaltender Braedon Fleming, who has the top goals-against average in the league at 1.84, the second-best save percentage at .936 and is tied for the most shutouts with two. Offensively, Ethan Leyh leads the team with 10 points (5-5-10) in 12 games and defenceman Jake Livingstone is second on the team with seven.
What’s at Stake
The teams are separated by three points in the Mainland Division standings. Prince George is third in the division with 17 points, but have multiple games in hand on the second-place Coquitlam Express and the first-place Chilliwack Chiefs. Langley sits three points back of the Spruce Kings in fourth place and have games in hand on the entire division.
From the Broadcast Booth:
Langley Rivermen play-by-play broadcaster Mike Bordignon on goaltender Braedon Fleming:
“His lateral movements in the crease this season are much improved. He is getting closer and closer to being an elite goaltender, not just in the BCHL, but however far his hockey career takes him. Any time you can get a guy like Fleming playing to his true potential, it’s going to make everyone around him respond positively.”
Bordignon on who stood out on the Spruce Kings during the first meeting of the season:
“I really liked Ben Poisson in the last matchup. His veteran presence was felt throughout the game and his quick release from the slot on the man advantage was really the difference maker in the Spruce Kings victory the last time.”
Bordignon on the importance of tonight’s divisional game:
“Any time you play you only think of the two points ahead of you. In such a tight division, securing those extra points seems a little more important.”
Prince George Spruce Kings play-by-play broacaster Brendan Pawliw on the team’s offence this season:
“Players like Nick Bochen on defence and Nick Poisson up front have rounded out the offence quite nicely and are trying to fill the void left by last year’s captain Ethan de Jong.”
Pawliw on the importance of tonight’s game in the tight Mainland Division race:
“It’s very important based on the early lead Chilliwack has and the great start the Express have pulled off. The Spruce Kings do have games in hand but they only mean something if you win them.”
ABOUT THE BCIHL
The British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League was created with the purpose of offering a venue for competitive, high-calibre hockey that’s close to home for players beyond their junior careers. The league was launched in 2006 and now includes five member teams: Selkirk College, Simon Fraser University, Trinity Western University, the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University. This season, 25 graduates with over 2750 games of BCHL experience are pursuing their academic and athletic goals in the BCIHL. To learn more about the BCIHL and playing opportunities for BCHL grads, visit BCIHL.ca.