The Cents are still searching for that elusive first win of the season, yesterday was the closest they’ve come as they were leading after 40 minutes of play. So far this season, the Cents have only lead a game during the majority of the first period against the Wenatchee Wild, and for a brief 3 minutes of game time from the end of the second period and the beginning of the 3rd yesterday. There were a lot of positives, but the team will need to put together a full 60 minute effort against the Mainland Division leading Prince George Spruce Kings to come away with a win today.
Since a 5-5 tie against the Chilliwack Chiefs to start the season, the Spruce Kings have rattled off 3 straight wins. In all their games, PG hasn’t managed to score less than 4 goals, by contrast the Centennials have yet to score 4 goals in a game this season.
Last season Prince George went unbeaten against the Centennials winning twice, once at the showcase, 7-2, once late in the season at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, 3-1, and the season opener last season skated to a 2-2 tie in Spruce King territory.
Early in the season, the Spruce Kings have 4 players in the top 20 in scoring, two in the top ten, each with 7 points a piece. Prince George is led by rookie forward Patrick Cozzi, and returning forward Ben Brar. Comparatively, the Cents don’t have a player among the league leaders until number 65. That being Zach Zorn with his 3 goals on the year. Needless to say, the Cents don’t want to try and go toe to toe offensively with Prince George.
On special teams, the Cents still remain snakebitten with no goals, and now one short handed goal against after yesterday’s game against the Rivermen. They’ve gone 0 for 21 to start the year, and are last in the league in that regard. Prince George is 4 for 23 through four games, ranked 12th in the league. The Cents may have trouble getting their first powerplay goal of the year, as the Spruce Kings are 3rd in the league with an 88.2% penalty kill, while Merritt sits at 12th with 73.9%
One thing stat that’s flying under the radar a bit for the Spruce Kings is that they haven’t yet left their perch from up north, and this will be their first official road game of the season. Will the travel have an effect on Prince George? Will the Cents have legs playing this early in the morning, and so close to their last game time?
We’ll find out when they hit the ice at 10am for puck drop. Pre game as always on Q101 at 9:45am.