Prince George native Mike Garteig is featured in today's Prince George Citizen newspaper. Click Here
Congratulations to Spruce King Justin Filllion who has commited to Michigan Tech for next fall. The full article can be found here
Spruce Kings: 1-9-0-0 Kings: 7-1-2
BIG STORY: Two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum meet for the second and final time in Powell River tonight. The Kings and Spruce Kings are separated by 41 points in the BCHL standings. Powell River took the first encounter 5-0 in Prince George on October 20th.
SPRUCE KINGS: Prince George has a had a tough go in the BCHL this season. The Spruce Kings are last in the 16 team circuit and have lost 15 of their last 16 games. Prince George's last win came on Dec 11th a 4-2 victory over Quesnel. That's over a month between wins as they last won before that against Salmon Arm on November 5th. At one point in November and into early December PG lost 13 in a row.
During that stretch Ed Demsey was fired as Head Coach and Dave Dupas has since come on board. Dupas is familiar with the BCHL as he was the Head Coach in Williams Lake at the start of last season. This team, you could say, is in it's rebuilding stages as they look to get this franchise back where it once was. The Spruce Kings are only five years removed from their Royal Bank Cup semi-final appearance as hosts in 2006. This year's addition still has some players who can hurt you.
A home town boy leads the team up front. RJ Berra leads the team in points with 51 and in goals with an impressive 31 which is a league best. The 20 year-old is the centre piece of the Spruce Kings offense and will be relied on heavily throughout the rest of the season. Berra is joined by two other 20 year-olds that chip in on the offensive end.
Nic DeSousa and Justin Fillion have 75 points between them this season. What's impressive about Fillion is that his point total comes from the blue line as he is the team's top defenseman.
* DeSousa and Berra recorded their 100th BCHL point on the same goal against Coquitlam on Wednesday.
Another promising piece is 16 year-old Jujhar Khaira, who has 27 points as a rookie. Khaira was featured in an October issue of The Hockey News magazine
KINGS: Powell River is playing some of their best hockey of late, as they are riding a six game win streak. That was good enough for the Kings to climb to number one in the CJHL rankings. Powell River recorded roads wins over Langley (4-0) and Surrey (3-1) last week. What impresses me is that the Kings have not lost since dropping a 6-3 home decision to Nanaimo on November 23rd. That shows how the team has responded after a less than stellar effort. The Kings have been winning in spite of their struggling power-play, something that isn't often uttered.
The power-play is third last in the BCHL at a shade over 18 percent. However, the team did show signs of improvement in Surrey scoring twice on the man advantage in the 3-1 win. The coaching staff has said it needs to improve and the team spent a lot of time this week on special teams play.
The defense remains air tight for Powell River. The team is running away with the leagues best goals against average. Entering tonight's game, the Kings sport a 1.69 goals against which is almost a full goal less than their closest competitor.
WHO'S HOT: Teagan Waugh has come back from an injury with a bang. The 18 year-old has scored in four straight games which is tops in the BCHL. His linemate, Carter Shinkaruk, has assists in five consecutive games and Brenden Forbes has points in five of his last six. That line has 16 points in their last six contests. On the other side of the ledger, RJ Berra has been on fire for Prince George. The native son has a 12 game point streak and has scored in three straight contests. Nic DeSousa has points in his last three and Lyndon Martell has put up points in five straight games.
INJURY REPORT: Cohen Adair, Andrew Pettitt and Justin Bardarson remain out for the Kings. Also Justin DaSilva will sit tonight's game out with the Flu.
LOCAL DEBUT: With four regulars out of the lineup for the Kings, they have called up Powell River Minor Hockey product Mitch Ball to make his first BCHL appearance. Mitch has 18 goals and 15 assists to go along with 14 penalty minutes in 29 games with the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in the VIJHL. Mitch is a young and exciting prosepect with a lot of potential.
STAT PACK: The Kings are 20-1-3-1 when they score first this season and are 21-0-2-0 when they have a lead after two periods. Suffice to say Prince George can't go down early to the Kings tonight.