First-place Spruce Kings host­ing Sur­rey

The Prince George Citizen - - SPORTS - Ted CLARKE Cit­i­zen staff

Don’t look now but the Prince Ge­orge Spruce Kings are tops in the B.C. Hockey League’s Main­land Di­vi­sion stand­ings.

They took three of a pos­si­ble four points last week­end at home in their sea­son-open­ing B.C. Hockey League se­ries against the Chilli­wack Chiefs and have staked their claim on first place in the di­vi­sion with a 1-0-1 record.

The Kings are tied in points with the Sur­rey Ea­gles (1-0-1), their op­po­nents tonight and Satur­day at Rolling Mix Con­crete Arena, but get the nod for first be­cause of their bet­ter goals-for, goals-against ra­tio.

The Chiefs, who will host the 2018 RBC Cup na­tional tour­na­ment, came into town ranked sixth in the coun­try in the 132-team Cana­dian Ju­nior Hockey League pre­sea­son poll and the Spruce Kings cer­tainly did some dam­age to that rank­ing. They started with a come-from-be­hind 5-5 dou­ble over­time tie with the Chiefs last Fri­day and ended the week­end set with a con­fi­dence-build­ing 8-2 win Satur­day.

“We’re pleased with the start but we know we have to keep work­ing to get bet­ter every day,” said Spruce Kings head coach Adam Maglio. “It’s def­i­nitely nice to see us at the top of the stand­ings and that’s where we want to stay. Both games our guys com­peted hard and we hung in there, es­pe­cially when they scored a cou­ple goals (to tie Satur­day’s game in the sec­ond pe­riod). We were able to re­bound quickly and get those back and es­pe­cially in that game we were much more con­sis­tent through the whole game.”

Their eight-goal ex­plo­sion Satur­day left three Spruce Kings in the top-10 in league scor­ing – Ethan de Jong is fourth over­all with a goal and four as­sists for five points, one off the league-lead­ing pace of Vernon for­ward and BCHL player of the week Lane Lambert. Kings right winger Pa­trick Cozzi (2-2-4) and left winger Ben Brar (1-3-4), are ninth and 11th on the scor­ing chart.

— see DeBROUWER, page 8

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