LAST 10: Victoria -- 5-4-0-1 Powell River -- 8-1-1-0
BIG STORY: The Kings and Grizzlies tangle for the fourth time this season, and second at the Hap Parker Arena. So far it's the Kings who have held court, winning all three meetings by a combined score of 12-6. In the most recent meeting, back on October 2nd, the Kings downed the Grizz' 4-1 at Bear Mountain Arena.
VICTORIA: The Grizzlies snapped a three game losing streak with a 5-4 victory on home ice over Alberni Valley last night. Before that the Grizzlies dropped games to Vernon, Trail and Cowichan Valley. This team has been up and down as of late, just look at their last ten games as they are one game above the five hundred mark.
You could excuse Victoria for not having the Christmas spirit. In December the Grizzlies are 2-4-0-1 and 2-3 in their last five games. Over that stretch their goals for and against is dead even at 16. Also the roster the Kings will face tonight is much different than it was in October.
Six players have changed places since the Kings last squared off against the Grizzlies. Gone is former captain Jake Baker, along with Brett Kolins, Ryan Stanimir, Scott Milnthorpe and goaltender Tanner McGaw. In are Graeme Strukoff, Taylor Love, Kyle Aschim and goaltender Cam Gorchynski. Also Bruin MacDonald who was with the club for a short time was dealt to Vernon.
Once this team's roster is settled it will be interesting to see how they play in the new year. The Grizzlies have one of the most talented line-ups, but the question is can they put it all together?
POWELL RIVER: The Kings will be playing with a shorter bench than they are used to tonight. With Brenden Forbes out due to suspension, Powell River will only dress 11 forwards. That means certain players will have to step up and fill roles that they are otherwise not used to. It isn't all grim news for the Kings.
Justin DaSilva will be back in the line-up as he returns from missing last night's game due to the flu. DaSilva will be a welcome addition to the blue line and on the power play. Give the Kings defense credit as they stepped up in his absence. Jon Jutzi scored on the power-play and Klay Kachur slid back into a regular defensive shift for the first time in well over two months.
Tonight's game will be a much bigger test than what they faced versus Prince George. Victoria wants to prove they can challenge the Kings at the top of the standings and return the feeling of losing at home in this season series.
WHO'S HOT: Chad Niddery picked up three assists last night and now has nine points in his last eight games. Teagan Waugh scored for the fifth consecutive game, which is a BCHL best. Brenden Forbes' goal last night gives him six points in his last seven games. Carter Shinkaruk saw his six game point streak come to an end...Michael Colantone is streaking for the Victoria Grizzlies. The Arizona native has three goals and four helpers in his past five games. Keep in mind though that six of those points came in a win over Prince George. Evan Richardson has two goals and five points in the past five games for the Grizz.
INJURY REPORT: Adrew Pettitt, Cohen Adair and Justin Bardarson are still out with their respective injuries. Brenden Forbes will sit the first of his two game suspension.
STAT PACK: As they have done in most games this season, the Kings scored the opening goal last night and that's not good news for the opposition. The Kings are 21-1-3-1 when they score first. More impressive is that they have yet to lose in the 24 times when leading after the second period. They have 22 wins and 2 ties.
PUCK DROP: Pre-game show at 7:15pm and the game gets under way at 7:30pm