Tonight – Powell River Kings (6-4-0-0) at Prince George Spruce Kings (7-3-0-1)
7 p.m. at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena in Prince George
Presented by the BCIHL
This is the first matchup between the teams this year. Last regular season, they played twice with the Spruce Kings winning once and the other ending in a tie. They also met in the third round of the Fred Page Cup playoffs after both teams came out of their respective divisions, with Prince George winning in five games in a series that featured four one-goal games, including two that went to overtime.
Powell River captain Ben Berard comes into tonight riding a five-game goal-scoring streak. He has six tallies over that stretch and has added a pair of assists. He has nine goals in 10 games this year, which is the most in the BCHL. He and teammate Ryan Brushett (5-9-14) are tied for eighth in league scoring. Goaltender Mitch Adamyk has a record of 5-3-0, a 2.63 goals-against average (10th in the BCHL) and a .903 save percentage.
Prince George forward Ben Poisson leads the team in points with 11 in 11 games. Ben Brar is tied for fifth in BCHL goal scoring with seven. 17-year-old Nick Bochen is tied for fourth in defencemen scoring with eight points (2-6-8) in 11 games. Spruce Kings goalie Logan Neaton has the fifth-best goals-against average in the BCHL at 2.20 and has a record of 6-1-0 with a .903 save percentage.
What’s at Stake
Powell River is in second place in the Island Division and trail the Victoria Grizzlies by four points with two games in hand.
Prince George sits in third place in the Mainland Division. They are only one point behind the second-place Coquitlam Express and three behind the first-place Chilliwack Chiefs with games in hand on both. The Langley Rivermen are in fourth place, three points behind the Spruce Kings.
From the Broadcast Booth:
Powell River Kings play-by-play broadcaster Alex Rawnsley on goaltender Mitch Adamyk taking over as the starter with Matteo Paler-Chow out with an injury:
“Mitch has done exactly what he’s been expected to do and that’s come in and be the starter who gives the team a chance to win every night. Once Paler-Chow returns, it will be very interesting to see what happens. The Kings have always been a team who has had depth in net. With Mitch and backup Hayden Missler carrying the load at the moment and Matteo around the corner, it puts the Kings in a strong position.”
Rawnsley on Ryan Brushett’s strong start to the season:
“Ryan’s been a star since coming to Powell River. He was brought to the team following opening weekend and until Saturday against Langley had scored in every game. He’s been a key piece of the Powell River offence. He’s a great compliment to Ben Berard on a top line, but can stand alone too. What he brings above all else though is experience. He’s an exciting player and makes the Kings very dangerous offensively.”
Rawnsley on Powell River facing Prince George for the first time since last year’s playoffs:
“I certainly think there will be some bitter feelings from a Powell River team who felt hard done by in that Game 5 last year. Prince George are a very good team and I think as much as Thursday will be about a measure of redemption for last season, it will also be about the Kings getting two points against one of the best teams in the BCHL and telling the league that Powell River deserves to be in that upper echelon of teams.”
Prince George Spruce Kings play-by-play broadcast Brendan Pawliw on how this year’s team compares to last year:
“This is a veteran-laden team with 13 returnees. The only concern I had was how they were going to replace Ethan de Jong after committing to Quinnipiac as well goaltender Evan DeBrouwer who arguably could have been last year’s BCHL MVP. I think the holes have been filled but the Spruce Kings won’t be surprising anyone this year and most will be giving their best effort against them.”
Pawliw on the rematch from last year’s playoffs:
“It’s hard to say if there is a rivalry because this will be the first time both teams have played since the playoffs. I guess all returning players will have some memories of one another, but I’m not expecting a chippy game by any means.”
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.