(Jake LeBrun scoring shorthanded against the West Kelowna Warriors)
It was a good start, and a wild finish for the Spruce Kings.
Prince George scored twice in the first 11 minutes, but West Kelowna would score six of the next eight goals. First it was Matt Stief getting PG on the board, as he skated across the blueline, and lofted a wrist shot past the glove of a screened Stephen Heslop. Stief entered the game with no goals, but 12 assists, and he was riding a seven game assist streak.
Then it was the captain scoring his seventh goal in as many games. The puck was poked up the ice, and instead of rushing out to play the puck away, Heslop remained in his net, as he watched LeBurn burst down the left wing, and come in to dig the puck into the net. That was all in the first half of the first period, and it looked as if West Kelowna had some bus legs after a long drive up to Prince George.
In the second the Warriors had their legs running though, and scored three unanswered in a seven minute stretch. First it was Rylan Yaremko stepping and sending a wrist shot into the top left corner. That gave him the lead in scoring for defense on the Warriors roster. His counter part Jake Harrison didn’t like being left out though, and the ’99 born defender rocketed home a slapshot from the point on the power play to take even the score at two, and bring his season total to 12 points alongside Yaremko. Then just as a four on four ended, Kyle Marino stepped out of the penalty, changed in favour of Brett Menear, and he went down on a short handed two on one with Kylar Hope. Hope feathered a pass over to Menear who missed his first swat at the puck, but managed to connect the second time, and slid the puck between Sam Tanguay’s glove and pad.
Just a minute thirty later though it Adam Brubacher for the Spruce Kings sending a rocket into the Warriors net to tie the game at three to head into the third period. Matt Stief picked up an assist on the play, and is now on an eight game assist streak.
The Spruce Kings would fall behind early in the third, as they let West Kelowna get on the board again with Kylar Hope scoring to take a 4-3 lead. Just 43 seconds later and the Spruce Kings would tie it again. With Nic Ponak out with an injury during the game, Connor Logan slotted into the top line with Jake LeBrun and Bryan Basilico, and the move paid off as he tipped a point shot from Brubacher for his second goal of the season.
Ryan Fritz would take a roughing penalty against the Prince George native Liam Blackburn, and the 3rd ranked power play would strike for the second time in the night. This time it was Kristian Blumenschein blasting home a goal to take the lead with 12 minutes to go. Prince George would pull Sam Tanguay with two minutes to go, but were unable to capitalize as Yaremko took a pass at centre ice from Connor Sodergren who sent the puck into the open cage to ice the game at 6-4, and retake the scoring lead amongst defensemen on the West Kelowna lineup.
This weekend the Spruce Kings will again be at The Coliseum, with games on Saturday against Salmon Arm at 7pm, and Sunday afternoon at 3pm.