Heading into the first round of playoffs Friday in Salmon Arm, Linden Makow, an 18-year-old right winger born and raised in Vanderhoof, has become an integral part of the Prince George Spruce Kings’ offence in his second B.C. Hockey League season. He finished eighth in team scoring with 16 goals and 29 points in 52 games and was picked as the Spruce Kings’ most improved player.
Makow and Kings’ left winger Scott Cousins, a Prince George native, were teammates three seasons ago playing for U-18 Cariboo Cougars and both agree the thrill of playing in front of family and friends never gets old. They’ll get that chance Tuesday and Wednesday when the Spruce Kings host Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven series against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at Kopar Memorial Arena. The series opens in Salmon Arm Friday and Saturday.
“It’s pretty special, we’ve played hockey here our whole lives and it’s pretty cool to play junior hockey in our hometown, I hope it’s a big crowd, it’s super exciting,” said the 18-year-old Makow.
Cousins, 19, needed no introduction when he joined the Spruce Kings Oct. 17 after playing 54 games over three seasons in the WHL with the Kelowna Rockets. Limited by injuries to 35 games with the Kings, he put up three goals and six assists.
“It’s a privilege to play at home, it’s every kid’s dream when you come up watching these teams, the Spruce Kings and (WHL) Cougars, so to be able to put on the Spruce Kings jersey every night is a cool thing,” said Cousins.
The Silverbacks and Spruce Kings finished tied in points (61) and tied in wins (27) but Salmon Arm won the season series between the two teams, which gave the Silverbacks home ice advantage.