(Brett Mennear, Photo by: Matt Jensen Photography)
A night after shutting down the number two power play in the league, the Prince George Spruce Kings were unable to repeat the feat against the man advantage of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
The game took a bit of a delay 2:30 in as a pane of glass in the Spruce Kings corner loosened, leading to a lengthy delay. The break seemed to have a sluggish effect on both teams, as neither were able to generate many shots for the remainder of the period.
Ethan O’Rourke had two glorious opportunities for his first goal as a Spruce King, but hoping off the left wall he was denied on both occasions by Nic Tallarico. At the 15 minute mark former Spruce King AP Josh Latta received a pass while alone in the slot, but was denied by Tavin Grant who was perfect in the first stopping all 10 shots he faced. In the dying minutes both teams traded chances with two-on-one odd man rushes, but neither could capitalize. Jared Turcotte came down for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, but the forward didn’t appear to know he had support as he weaved right in front of his teammate before firing a shot blockered away by Grant. Brett Mennear and Ben Brar went the other way for PG immediately after, and with the pass being taken away, Mennear rang a shot off the inside of the post that popped out.
Two minutes into the second, an Adam Burnett cross ice saucer pass led to Carson Bolduc in front of the net with no Spruce Kings in sight. Fortunately for Prince George, the second leading goal scorer for the Silverbacks sent his shot wide of the net. Penalty trouble would come to bite the visitors in the rear end as Drew Lennon, Connor Russell, and Adam Burnett all took turns in the box. The penalty kill was able to prevent the 5-on-3 from capitalizing, but shortly after with Burnett in the box for cross checking a Bolduc point shot was tipped in front by Justin Wilson at 15:01 for his 13th of the season. The goal gave him a career best four game point streak.
Prince George would reply three minutes later as Brar got the puck to Mennear, and the captain did the rest rushing into the offensive zone, and cutting in from the right wing was able to ding a shot off the post and in tying the game at one. Salmon Arm was able to smother PG offensively in the frame (thanks to three power plays as well) outshooting the Spruce Kings 12-5 to give them a 22-13 lead heading to the third.
The power play for Salmon Arm struck again in the third eight minutes in as Justin Wilson beat a screened Tavin Grant under the blocker. That would prove to be the winner as PG earned a late power play and pulled Grant for the extra attacker, but couldn’t beat Tallarico again. The captain for the Silverbacks would ice the game with 43 seconds left in the game clearing the puck into the empty net.
Tavin Grant making 33 saves, and allowing just two goals on the power play was the third star of the game from the Spruce Kings. Defenseman Max Wutzke was second, and Justin with both PPG’s was the first. Prince George will be back to work tomorrow against the Vernon Vipers who pulled out a win in the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena a few weeks ago.