The Prince George Spruce Kings were on the ice this morning preparing for their three game road trip this weekend. The team has dropped 5 straight games, and 7 of their last 8. Despite the losing streak, they’re still holding on to the final playoff spot in the BCHL’s Mainland Division. At practice today, head coach Chad van Diemen was reinforcing the basics.
“We don’t have to make a ton of adjustments. We’ve just got to be more prepared to start games and be ready to execute our game plan right off the hop. Not wait 10 or 12 minutes to get going,” said van Diemen.
“I think our biggest thing is preparation on the road. Obviously it’s tough sometimes leaving a day early, but we just have to be dialed in right from the puck drop. Our starts have been tough, so basically that’s what we’ve been talking a lot about in the room,” said defenceman Connor Russell.
The Spruce Kings have been outscored 6-0 in the first period over their last 2 games. And those 2 games, which both came on the road, kicked off a stretch where Prince George plays 16 of their final 17 games away from the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.
“It’s definitely a little bit of adversity but I think our team’s up for the challenge. 16 on the road for the rest of the year – it’s going to be tough. But we’re looking forward to it. Bonding on the road and stuff like that, it’s going to be a fun time,” said Russell.
“It’s only a factor if you let it be a factor. Mentally we’ve got to overcome that and just look at every night as an opportunity to go prove ourselves. At the end of the day you’re on a bus, we leave a day early for games, it’s not really a factor,” said van Diemen.
The Spruce Kings take on Merritt, Salmon Arm and Vernon this weekend.