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Zielonka, Plevy, Chiefs Overpower Spruce Kings

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The Spruce Kings are probably happy to get away from the Chilliwack Chiefs for a little while. Phil Zielonka continued his absurd goal scoring pace with a hat-trick, Austin Plevy racked up five points, and Luke Esposito pulled into the league scoring lead in a 6-2 victory over the Spruce Kings on Wednesday night at Prospera Centre.

Chilliwack now holds a three point lead going into Friday night’s showdown with the Surrey Eagles, and also pushes their lead over Prince George to eleven points after taking care of business three times inside of a week.

1. If you’re gonna leave Phil Zielonka alone in the slot in the first period? You’re gonna have a bad time. If you’re gonna lose an edge at the Chilliwack line, allowing Zielonka to walk in on a breakaway with a chance to score his hat-trick goal? You’re gonna have a bad time.

Six games as a Chief. Eight goals. I….the kid’s good.

2. Not to take anything away from his linemates, of course. Austin Plevy’s shorthanded breakaway goal at the end of the first period was a killer, and his tip on an Alexandre Perron-Fontaine power play point shot was much needed at the time. Prince George had scored twice in the period to cut the Chilliwack lead down to 4-2. Luke Esposito’s two assists vaulted him into the league lead scoring-wise.

3. I think Cooper Rush is playing some of his best hockey of the season. Steady back there, and got a couple of his bombs through on goal, including a power play marker in the first period. Great work on the screen in front by Mathieu Tibbet there as well. More on Tibbs in a second.

4. We saw the following look on a Chilliwack powerplay in the game: Esposito, Plevy, Zielonka, Hansen, Perron-Fontaine. That’s an embarrasment of riches, right there.

5. An unfortunate play in the second period, as Mathieu Tibbet was extended, reaching for a puck in the slot, and laid out by Prince George defenseman Kevin Guiltinan. It was a blow to the head, and unneccesary, as Tibbet was vulnerable inbetween the hashmarks in the Prince George zone. Guiltinan was assesed five and a game for that hit. Tibbet was knocked out on the play, and would be helped off the ice – on his feet at least. Word is it’s a concussion. I feel bad for Mathieu, a well-liked guy who’s dealt with concussion issues and other injuries before. They’ll miss his enthusiasm for the next little while.

6. The Spruce Kings looked like a team that travelled down here for eight hours the day of the game at times on Wednesday night. While that can be a convenient excuse, last season the Chiefs travelled to Prince George the day of, got to the rink fifty minutes before puck drop due to an accident outside of town, and won anyway. So…yeah.

7. The Surrey Eagles landed their own big prize at the trade deadline in Adam Tambellini. The rivalry will continue Friday night at Prospera Centre, and the Chiefs will have a chance to push their three point lead over Surrey to five, taking a one game lead in the season series in the process.

Tambellini. Brady Shaw. Michael Santaguida. Phil Zielonka. Austin Plevy. Luke Esposito. Mitch Gillam.

Surrey. Chilliwack. Friday night.

You should probably go check that out.

Is it Friday yet?

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