The Prince George Spruce Kings are in for a road trip test.
The Spruce Kings, off to an impressive 3-0-1-1 start this B.C. Hockey League season, will play three games away from home this weekend, starting tonight when they skate in Vernon against the Vipers. On Saturday, the Kings will take on the Merritt Centennials and, on Sunday, they'll wrap up the southern swing with a game against the defending national champion Penticton Vees.
Next weekend, the Spruce Kings will play another three-game road set, with the Surrey Eagles and Langley Rivermen (back-to-back) as the opponents.
To date, all five of those teams have records of .500 or better, so the Kings will have to be sharp to build on their own success.
"It's going to be tough and another learning experience for us," said Spruce Kings head coach Dave Dupas. "We've been at home [for the past three games] and now we've got to go on the road and have to be ready to play because those teams down there are all good teams. They're going to need the points and we have to be ready to go when we get there."
The Vipers take a 2-1-0-2 record into tonight's game. The Centennials, meanwhile, sit at 2-1-1-0 and always seem to give the Kings a battle. Last Saturday at the Coliseum, the Spruce Kings and Cents played to a 2-2 tie. As for the Vees, they are ranked No. 1 in the country and are 5-1-0-0 right now. Penticton's only loss was to Prince George, 4-2, on Sept. 15 at the Coliseum.
"We've beaten Penticton so it shows we can play with the best," said Kings forward Cam Lawson, who is on a point-per-game pace with three goals and two assists. "We just need to come out hard every game, start to finish, and I think we've got pretty good chances."