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COUSINS HAT TRICK LEADS SPRUCE KINGS TO A 6-3 WIN

PRINCE GEORGE BC – Kolton Cousins and the Prince George Spruce Kings have won back-to-back games for the first time this season, defeating the Langley Rivermen 6-3.

In the opening frame, it was Kolton Cousins who started the scoring. Some hard work from the line of Cousins, Carter Cochrane, and Andrew Seaman worked in below the goal line and the puck came to Cousins, who shovelled the puck through the legs of Braedon Fleming to give the Spruce Kings the lead. 33 seconds later, it was Colton Kovich who received a pass all alone from Brendan Budy in the back door and had lots of time to fire it past Jett Alexander to tie the game at one. A few moments later, Mason Waite got bumped from behind and went hard into the boards from Connor Westch, which ended up leading to defenceman Cole Leal dropping the gloves with Wetsch to pick up his teammate Mason Waite. The game remained tied after 20 minutes.

In the second period, the Spruce Kings began the frame on the power play and they connected. Corey Cunningham fired the puck off the pad of Fleming and received his own rebound and fired it by Fleming to give the Spruce Kings a 2-1 lead. That one came 38 seconds into the period. It was then at 4:15, that the Rivermen got it back. North Dakota commit, Brendan Budy picked the pocket of Mason Waite in front of the goal and put the puck past Alexander to tie the game back up at two. The Spruce got another power play, and it was at 11:55 when they converted once again on the man advantage. Ryan McAllister potted home the puck in front of the goal on the blocker side of Fleming to regain the Spruce Kings lead to make it 3-2. Jaxon Steele and Preston Brodziak got the helpers on the McAllister marker. The Spruce Kings took a 3-2 lead to the dressing room after 40 minutes.

In the final period, it was again Budy as the power play expired, put the puck right through the legs of Alexander to once again tie this game up. At 5:28 of the third, it was Cousins who gloved the puck down off a hard pass from Ryan Helliwell and shovelled it through the wickets of Fleming to once again give Prince George the lead. A few moments later, it was then Cousins again who capped off a career night, going top corner on Fleming for his Hat Trick goal to give Prince George a 5-3 lead that got the 800 plus buzzing at the RMCA. A fight then broke out between two big contenders in Jake Livingstone and Wil Kushniryk as they dropped the flippers and traded a few shots before Livingstone took down the 6’5 forward to the ice. That also got the crowd quite excited. In the final seconds, Ryan Helliwell tried to drop the mitts with Jaxon Steele, but Steele elected to not drop the gloves and draw a penalty that put PG back to the power play. Evan Orr at the buzzer fired it home on the power play on a feed from Cousins to cap off a great night for the Spruce Kings, winning 6-3.

Cousins spoke after the game, and thought this was the best game his team has played all year, “That is such a huge game for us, I thought we really played a full 60. Our line with Cochrane and Seaman worked and battled all night, and just real happy with everybody’s effort”.

The Spruce Kings now hit the road for three divisional matchups, beginning with the Coquitlam Express Wednesday night, followed by the Surrey Eagles on Friday, and the Chilliwack Chiefs on Saturday.

3 STARS

  1. Kolton Cousins (3 G 1 A) (PG)
  2. Evan Orr (1 G 3 A) (PG)
  3. Brendan Budy (2 G 1 A) (LGY)

FORTIS ENERGY PLAYER OF THE GAME – Carter Cochrane ( 1 A ) (PG)