Home > Chiefs Hockey > Something’s Gotta Give: Prince George, Round 7

Something’s Gotta Give: Prince George, Round 7

Chilliwack Chiefs (27-16-1-1 – 56 points, 2nd in Mainland)

VS Prince George Spruce Kings (21-17-1-7 – 50 points, 3rd in Mainland)

(Prospera Centre  –  6:30 pregame/7pm faceoff on 89.5 The Hawk)

THE NUMBERS

LINEUPS

Here’s a few things going into tonight’s pivotal divisional matchup tonight at Prospera Centre:

1. In case you didn’t know already, the Chiefs have clinched a playoff spot, so they have that going for them, but the team has been struggling, losers of four straight. They’re just 3-3 in their last six games on home ice. Their opponent tonight, the Prince George Spruce Kings, are trying to defeat the Chiefs for the first time this season, and are coming off a game Friday where the loss to Surrey wasn’t as one-sided as the score suggested. (5-2)

pgrecap

2. In the last two calendar weeks, (which eliminates the home ice loss to Surrey. Their effort was strong for 40 minutes in that one.) the Chiefs have played exactly one strong period – according to me, anyway – the first frame of the West Kelowna game last Saturday, when they had the requisite energy on the forecheck, and kept it simple on the power play, driving the puck to the net, and scoring a pair of goals. Three of those tonight, and the home side should be alright.

3. An intriguing development – When the Chiefs have fallen behind in recent games – in this case all of the last four – they have a tendency to waver from team play, and instead look to one guy to play the role of hero. (Your turn….Okay, now my turn…) These kids are all competitive. It’s very tempting to stray from a gameplan when things go a little sideways as they have of late. Can’t do that, though. The results of the last two weeks speak for themselves.

4. These teams have faced one another a ton this year, so the approach should remain the same – Chilliwack needs to use their superior size to their advantage along the boards to win puck battles, and limit the space of the Spruce Kings’ fleet forward group in the middle of the ice.

5. Harvard’s incoming freshman class will be well represented in this game – Luke Esposito, Phil Zielonka, and Kevin Guiltinan of the Spruce Kings all on the ice this evening. Guiltinan is the league’s resident heavyweight, and a tough matchup for any forward down low. Guiltinan has also concussed a pair of Chiefs this season – Jaret Babych back in November, and back in January when he laid out a prone Mathieu Tibbet in the slot area, leading to a two game suspension. For the fans wondering if Guiltinan will have to…um…’answer the bell’…..

Maybe.

Depends on how close the game is. I understand the ‘code’ of the game, but the Chiefs should be more concerned about a Spruce Kings team that could close the gap to just four points in the division tonight IF Chilliwack can’t get it done for a fifth straight contest.

I think they will, though. They’re well rested, and have had a week to think about a blown 3-0 lead in West Kelowna. It’s time for this team to get it together on home ice, and return to their winning ways.

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Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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