The Prince George Spruce Kings are looking for ways to spread the wealth that scoring goals generates.
They haven't exactly found an abundance of offence through six B.C. Hockey League games this season,averaging only three goals per game while compiling a 2-3-0-1 fourth-place record. Outside of forwards Bryant Christian and Jake LeBrun, and defencemen Christian Weidauer and Skyler Pacheko, no other Kings have more than one goal to their credit and that's a bit tough to swallow for Kings general manager Mike Hawes.
With the Kings about to play the Coquitlam Express tonight and Sunday in a three-game roadtrip that also stops Saturday in Chilliwack, Hawes says it's time his team started burying more of its chances.
"I'm not unhappy with how the team's playing and I'm not unhappy with the work ethic, but if you get 48 shots on net and don't win the hockey game that shows we definitely need some work," said Hawes. "We just have to put more pucks in the net and that will put some more 'Ws' up for us."
Christian, the Kings' captain, and Weidauer lead the Kings in scoring with nine points each, while LeBrun has been the top sniper with seven goals in six games.
In their most recent game last Saturday at the Coliseum, a 4-2 loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters, the Kings had the edge in shots, 48-29, but ran into a hot goalie (Dustin Nikkel). Their lack of finish around the net came a night after they'd handed the Penticton Vees their first loss of the season. Kings' rookie goalie Jesse Jenks made 36 saves that night to preserve the victory over the Vees.
The Express have a new face behind the bench in Barry Wolff, hired over the summer as head coach and general manager. Wolff is no stranger to the BCHL, having coached the Langley Chiefs, Surrey Eagles, Quesnel Millionaires and Williams Lake Mustangs.
Kings forward Justin Rai is out with a mild concussion and won't play this weekend. The Kings will also be without forward Cole Todd for tonight's game while he serves the second of a two-game suspension for an illegal hit to the hit of Vees' forward Josh Blanchard last weekend.
The games will be webcast on the league site, bchl.ca.