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It’s a match up we’ve known for a while, now it’s time for the teams to hit the ice in game one of the BCHL Playoffs as the Smoke Eaters host the Prince George Spruce Kings.

Playoffs Schedule

Game 1 Feb 28 Prince George at Trail 7:00 PM PST
Game 2 Feb 29 Prince George at Trail 7:00 PM PST
Game 3 Mar 2 Trail at Prince George 7:00 PM PST
Game 4 Mar 3 Trail at Prince George 7:00 PM PST
* Game 5 Mar 5 Trail at Prince George 7:00 PM PST
* Game 6 Mar 7 Prince George at Trail 7:00 PM PST
* Game 7 Mar 8 Prince George at Trail 7:00 PM PST

After a record setting season the Smoke Eaters begin their quest for the ultimate prize, a BCHL Championship. They’ll feel confident with their opponent to start the playoffs, in three meetings with Spruce Kings this year the Smoke Eaters won all three games. Most recently on January 29th when the Smoke Eaters put nine on the board in a 9-2 win on home ice against the Spruce Kings. Kent Johnson and Philippe Lapointe are back and ready to lead this team after both were healthy scratched over the final stretch of games. They’ll be watched closely by the Spruce Kings top defensive pairings as they try and slow the Smoke Eaters attack. The emergence however of Chase Dafoe over the last week just adds another threat to the Smoke Eaters already highly talented arsenal. For many of these players it will be their first taste of playoff hockey, so nerves are bound to be high for the opening minutes of this one.

Smoke Eaters regular season scoring leaders:

Johnson (41-60-101)
Colella (27-41-68)
Ozar (26-40-66)
Lapointe (20-35-55)
DiMurro (6-32-38)

There’s no doubt that Prince George come into this series as the underdog. However as we saw last year anything can happen and never count a team out. Last seasons BCHL and Doyle Cup champions will be looking to defend their title. While missing many of the players that helped win them a championship, there are still players in the Spruce Kings locker room who know how to win come playoff time. They’ll have to be at their best defensively while making the most of their opportunities in front of net. It won’t be easy as they’ll be staring down BCHL Rookie of the Year Logan Terness. The Spruce Kings will want to try and get off the an early start if they want to steal one on the road.

Spruce Kings regular season scoring leaders:

Poisson (21-26-47)
Cunningham (26-18-44)
Welsh (14-25-39)
Bochen (6-27-33)
Brodziak (15-17-32)

It’s the best time of year. Playoff hockey and it’s bound to be exciting, records are reset, it doesn’t matter what you did during the regular season but what you do starting now. Puck drop is at 7pm. Catch the game on HockeyTV or Mixlr with Ben Phillips and rob Squires starting with the pregame show at 6:50pm.