Last year the Spruce Kings struggled to come away with victories, but with a fresh set of faces they got off to a good start in 2016/17 with a 6-5 win.
Facing the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, PG was in against a team they fell to in overtime last year. This road trip would be different, as there was an uphill battle all night for the team.
It was an unlucky start, as Alex Brisson was able to bank an early shot off a defenders shot, and have the puck trickle through the legs of Liam McCloskey.
Prince George would reply just over seven minutes later as Parker Colley sprung Travis Schneider for a breakaway, and the speedy forward sniped a shot into the bottom right corner of the net. The Storm would reply less in less than two minutes with Erik Olsen walking down the right side and unleashing a wicked shot into the top right corner to restore the home team’s lead. Battling back again were the Spruce Kings with another breakaway goal. This time it was Tanner Campbell picking up the puck at centre, and tearing down the middle uncontested to beat Ben Laidlaw five hole.
In the second, the seesaw continued with Logan Mazerolle beating McCloskey for a 3-2 lead.
Following the goalie halfway through the period, Campbell kept his magic in the game alive with a perfect cross ice pass to Jamie Huber from the left wall. Just inside the right circle Huber had time and space and would not miss as he picked the corner to tie the game at three. The frame didn’t end on a good note for the Spruce Kings, as with seven seconds remaining a long shot from the point snaked through the defenders and beat Wornig to restore Grande Prairie’s lead heading to the final period.
Things took a while to get rolling in the third, but Prince George would score two goals in a row in a minute and half to take their first lead of the game. First it was point shot from Kevin Fillier tipped in front from Ethan de Jong, and then it was the birthday boy Ben Poisson putting the team in front.
While it would have been nice to have a game winning goal on his birthday, that’s not the way things were meant to be for Poisson. With Tanner Campbell in the box for high-sticking, Alex Brisson was able to hop on a rebound to bury his second goal of the game, tying things up with just over five minutes to go. Prince George would repay the favour as they received their first power play of the game with a few minutes to go. Just as time on the man advantage was ticking off, a mirror image goal happened for Jamie Huber. Tanner Campbell put a perfect cross ice pass on his stick, and again he was able to beat Goguen for the go-ahead marker with one minute on the clock.
The Storm would push late, but took another late penalty to nullify any chance at a comeback.
Grande Prairie will visit Prince George this coming weekend as they play a pair of games in the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena. Friday and Saturday are both 7pm start times with tickets to the game costing $5 each. The games will also be broadcast on Mixlr and FASTHockey.