14-10-2-1 (5th) 21-5-3-2 (1st)
Big Story: The fourth of sixth meetings between these two Coastal Conference foes. Powell River took the last encounter 2-1 back on November 12th. The Kings also hold the edge in the season series with a record of 2-1-0-0. Both teams are coming off wins as well. Alberni blanked Cowichan 1-0 and Powell River edged Nanaimo 2-1.
Kings: Powell River is 2-1-2-0 in their last five games but the coaching staff would say their record doesn't reflect their results. In the past two weeks the Kings have battled themselves mostly, trying to find consistency and jump in their game. Did they return to form last night? I would say they defiantly made head way in the right direction. The team had better focus and desire right through the game in Nanaimo. Also the Kings have a bad taste in their mouth after a humbling 3-1 loss in the valley on their first trip over the hump. Yet again Powell River has redemption on their minds.
Bulldogs: After losing 6 in a row between the end of October and the start of November the 'Dawgs it seems have started to find their game once again. In their last five games, Alberni Valley sports an impressive 3-1-1-0 mark which includes a modest two game win streak. This team won't score a whole bunch as they sit last in goals in the Coastal Conference with 8. However they won't give you much either, just look at the season series:
Sept 11th 3-1 PR
Sept 30th 3-1 AV
Nov 12th 2-1 PR
That's only 11 goals scored in total by both teams in the three encounters. To put that into context, Salmon Arm and Quesnel combined for 11 goals last night.
Alberni Valley boasts one of the best goaltenders in the BCHL in Frank Slubowski. The Prince Rupert native has only surrendered 5 goals on 65 shots in the three games against the Kings. He is the backbone of Paul Esdale's stingy defense much like Mike Garteig and Sean Maguire are for Powell River.
Who's Hot: Matt Garbowsky, Chad Niddery and Dan Schuler have combined for 8 points in three meetings this season with the Bulldogs. Garbowsky and Niddery each have one goal and two helpers....Casey Bailey and Josh Mitchell each have two points each for the Bulldogs in three games against the Kings.
Injury Report: Teagan Waugh and Cohen Adair remain out for the Kings with Upper Body injuries. Tanner Hicks is out for the Dawgs still recovering from a spleen laceration.
Stat Pack: It's two good records going head to head. The Kings have the second best road record in the BCHL at 9-2-3-1 and the Bulldogs have the second best home record in the Coastal Conference at 11-4-1-0.
Puck Drop: This might surprise some but not to those who have paid careful attention. Sean Maguire will get the start in goal tonight after last night's excellent showing in Nanaimo. The coaches feel Maguire deserves another go and who can blame them.
Pre-Game show at 6:45pm Play-by-Play at 7pm on SUN FM
For the scoop on the Bulldogs, check Hammers Bulldogs Blog. Evan Hammond is the voice of the Bulldogs.click here