(Photo by Matt Jensen Photography)
The last time the Spruce Kings lost at home was October 16th. It was a good run, but all good things must come to and end and that happened Thursday night against the Chilliwack Chiefs. Despite outshooting the visitors 48-21, it was Chilliwack heading home as 3-2 victors. The loss ended Prince George’s nine game unbeaten streak on home ice.
Prince George outshot Chilliwack 15-5 in the opening frame, but it was the Chiefs striking first 14:46 in on the power play. Kohen Olischefski was the third star last time these two teams met, and got the offence started by driving the net. Tavin Grant was unable to trap the puck, and Jake Smith scored on the rebound to put his side up 1-0. This followed a pair of Chilliwack penalties that overlapped, and gave Prince George 25 seconds of five-on-three but were unable to convert.
It didn’t take Prince George long to reply in the second, as just 27 seconds in Huber was able to take advantage of a home town bounce. The Chiefs tried to cycle the puck behind the net, but instead it bounced out front where Huber was all alone to beat Mark Sinclair. Chippy play had started in the first period, and it rolled into the second as Linden Hora clipped Tavin Grant while skating past the net on the penalty kill. Instead of a five-on-three though, Tyler Anderson got into a shoving match behind the net, and after getting punched in the face, received a roughing penalty. That kept it a one man advantage instead of 1:50 up by two men for Prince George.
Chilliwack would head to the next power play, and kept their perfect special teams streak alive. They were one for one in the first, and capitalized in the second with Jordan Kawaguchi picking the top left corner to restore the Chiefs lead. 22 second later they doubled their lead, with Jake Smith scoring his second of the game with 3:25 to go.
It took more than 20 minutes for the next goal to come as Ben Brar scored late in the game to make it 3-1. The two teams were playing four-on-four, but with under four minutes to go Prince George elected to pull Grant for the extra attacker. Brar took a feed from Huber, and beat Sinclair to get within one.
The Spruce Kings continued to push, but were unable to tie the game. Chilliwack wasn’t able to score on the empty net though, so that kept Prince George tied with the Victoria Grizzlies for the only teams to not allow an empty netter this season. Those very Grizzlies are in town Friday night as the Spruce Kings take on the Island leading team at home. The Prince George Citizen and Pacific Coastal Airlines are sponsoring the game, and Pacific Airline will be giving away a trip for two to Victoria in the 2nd intermission.
|14:46||CHW||Jake Smith (13) ASST: Kohen Olischefski (23), Olivier Arseneau (11) (PP)|
|0:27||PG||Jamie Huber (11) ASST: None|
|16:13||CHW||Jordan Kawaguchi (23) ASST: Kohen Olischefski (24),Tommy Lee (15) (PP)|
|16:35||CHW||Jake Smith (14) ASST: Will Calverley (13), Colin Bernard (13)|
|16:47||PG||Ben Brar (4) ASST: Jamie Huber (17), Brett Mennear(27)|