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Late Vernon Comeback Completed in Double OT

(Photo by: MyLight Photography)

After 53 minutes it looked as if the Spruce Kings were going to end their roadtrip with a 2-1 record after going up 4-1 thanks to a Keegan Ward backhand. The Vernon Vipers had other thoughts though coming back and scoring three goals in four minutes to tie the game, and eventually win 5-4 in double overtime.

In the first period, Tavin Grant started with a roaring start, and a Spruce Kings were able to give him some help on their lone power play. At 6:10 Steven Jandric saucered the puck across the Brett Stapley, but he was denied point blank in the slot. Stapley would play setup man three minutes later on a two-on-one, but the shot from Niko Karamani was again turned away. Shortly after Prince George went to the power play, and Ben Brar in front of the net was able to tip in a shot from Drew Lennon to open the scoring at 10:20. Grant came up with his biggest stop of the period with less than four minutes to go as he was able to slide to his left and shutdown a Steven Jandric wraparound attempt.

Shots were in the favour of the Spruce Kings in the second period, outshooting the Vipers 10-8. Most importantly they were also able to outscore the opposition with Brett Mennear tipping in a Tyler Anderson wrist shot at 14:15. The goal was the captain’s second of the weekend. Vernon’s best chance came 1:30 in as Stapley centred the puck for Steven Jandric alone in front of the crease, but Grant was up to the task once again.

Vernon got off to a good start in the third as Ryan Brushett ended the Tavin Grant shutout bid at 1:15 to get the Vipers within one at 2-1. Tanner Campbell would reply for the Spruce Kings as Ethan O’Rourke dug a puck out to him from behind the goal line, and Campbell put in his seventh of the season. Vernon nearly scored two minutes later as Williamson took a shot that trickled past Grant, but the PG netminder was able to sprawl back and stop the puck on the line. Keegan Ward made Vernon pay for not capitalizing as he scored his first as a Spruce King with a backhand in the slot at 14:54. Vernon would score three in the next four minutes with Jimmy Lambert starting things, and Cameron Trott and Steven Jandric both scoring on the power play to even the game.

At 3:29 of double overtime, the Vipers completed the comeback as Ryan Brushett wrapped around the net beating Tavin Grant on the far side. The overtime loss gave the Prince George a final record of 1-1-1 on their final trip to the Interior of the regular season. They will get a few days to rest up at home before heading down to the Mainland where they play another three games in three days with the Surrey Eagles, Langley Rivermen, and Chilliwack Chiefs in the way. Thursday PG will be in Surrey for a 6:3o puckdrop.

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