If the Prince George Spruce Kings had a four-leaf clover it would probably have the emblem of the Chilliwack Chiefs on it.
At least that's the way it would appear after the Spruce Kings out played their B.C. Hockey League division rivals in two games at the Coliseum but lost both by a 4-2 score. Saturday night's game in front of 881 fans was a mirror image of Friday's game right down to the final empty-net goal.
Spruce Kings head coach Dave Dupas said it's frustrating playing the Chiefs and their almost unbeatable goalie Mitch Gillam.
"That's three games in a row we've out played them and have only got one point out of it so it's really frustrating," said Dupas, referring to a 3-2 overtime loss in Chilliwack last week. "We have to find ways to beat the goaltender. You can't fault the guys for the effort they put in all weekend. They had a great series but just lost two hard fought games.
The Spruce Kings (19-14-1-6) out shot the Chiefs (26-12-1-1) on Saturday 32-29 but as Gillam showed why hes a top goaltender in the BCHL, while Prince George's own star goalie, Kirk Thompson was victimized by a couple odd Chiefs-friendly bounces.
"It seems it happens every time they come in here," said Dupas. "[Friday] night it hits a defenceman's stick then it hits him on the head and then went bar down and in. [Saturday] a guy misses the net, the puck bounces over the net and hits Kirk in the back and sits on the goal line and they're standing there to tap it in. I don't know what you can do about those things but the fact of the matter is when there's a loose puck laying there they tap it.
"We had some pucks laying in their crease tonight too that we didn't get to," he added. "If those pucks are there we have to get bodies there to bang some in."
Philip Zielonka scored twice for the Chiefs but the Spruce Kings held Luke Esposito - the second-leading scorer in the BCHL - to an empty-net goal.
Chad Staley and Mark Begert had the goals for the Spruce Kings.
The Chiefs third goal was one Thompson probably would like back as Josh Hansen fired one over his glove but the 20-year-old goalie redeemed himself in the third period when he stopped Ziolonka on a shorthanded breakaway to keep his team within one at 3-2.
In five games between the Mainland division rivals this season the Spruce Kings are 0-4-0-1 but will have another shot to de-feather the Chiefs on Wednesday when they make a day trip down to the Fraser Valley for a 7 p.m. game.
"It'll be a tough game but it's a game we have to go win we just can't throw in the towel," said Dupas. "We can't afford to we're battling for playoff position here and we have to keep fighting through it."
Note: Sean Landrey missed both weekend games for the Kings with a lower-body injury and is listed as day to day.