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Mennear’s Three Point Night Leads PG to First Home Win

(Photo by Les Gagnon Photography)

It took longer than they would’ve liked, but the Prince George Spruce Kings finally earned a win the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.

A 6-4 decision wasn’t easy to come by, as the Trail Smoke Eaters were able to keep the Spruce Kings at bay for the first two periods.

Kicking off the scoring though was the home side, as they took advantage on the man advantage with Brett Mennear taking the original shot, and Ben Poisson scoring on the rebound with 4:14 to go in the frame. The Spruce Kings had a magnificent chance to double their lead shorthanded as Kyle Johnson was sprung on a breakaway, but Zach Dyment stopped him point blank, and the Smoke Eaters would run the other way. Taking a feed from Smithers product Luke Santerno, Kale Howarth was able to tuck the puck between the legs of Wornig tying the game at one with 14 seconds to go.

In the second it was Trail with the momentum, and them striking two and a half minutes into the period. Jamie Huber responded two minutes after as a Burnett shot bounced out front, and he was able to slap the rebound that. The celebrations wouldn’t last long again though as Josh Laframboise barrelled through a pair of defenders, and was able to score on the rebound. That goal just before the halfway mark of the period, and is where things sat until the buzzer sounded with Trail leading 3-2.

A pair of Spruce Kings would score their firsts of the season to start the third, and that restored the Spruce Kings lead at 4-3. First it was Kyle Johnson scoring on a rebound, and then Jarod Hovde sending a wrister over the shoulder of Dyment for the home lead. It took less than a minute for Trail to respond with Ryan Murphy tucking a shot under the glove of Wornig to tie the game at four.

Two late goals would seal the deal for Prince George though as Travis Schneider knocked in his first goal in the BCHL with Poisson picking up the assist.  With Trail pressing for the equalizer, their captain Connor Brown-Maloski took a high-sticking penalty with just over a minute left in the game. That’s where the captain would come up clutch as he scored his team leading fifth goal of the year to give Prince George the 6-4 lead. Sam De Melo had the original shot from the blue line, and Mennear tipped it in form the slot. The assist was De Melo’s first point as a Spruce King. They would hold on after some late scrappy play, and skate away with the win.

The victory moved Prince George ahead of Coquitlam, and into 4th in the Mainland Division. They are tied with the Langley Rivermen at five points while the Express have four. Prince George has played eight games though while the Express and Rivermen have both only played six. The Spruce Kings are back in action Friday night at 7pm as they take on the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

15:46 PG Ben Poisson (3) ASST: Brett Mennear (4) (PP)
19:46 TRA Kale Howarth (5) ASST: Luke Santerno (6), Braeden Tuck (3)(PP)
2:37 TRA Luke Santerno (4) ASST: None
4:47 PG Jamie Huber (4) ASST: Adam Burnett (3), Brett Mennear (5)
9:35 TRA Joshua Laframboise (3) ASST: None
1:44 PG Kyle Johnson (1) ASST: Ethan de Jong (4), Liam Watson-Brawn (1)
4:10 PG Jarod Hovde (1) ASST: None
5:19 TRA Ryan Murphy (2) ASST: Braeden Tuck (4)
16:49 PG Travis Schneider (1) ASST: Ben Poisson (1)
19:19 PG Brett Mennear (5) ASST: Sam De Melo (1) (PP)