(Tyler Anderson gets a shot past Keegan Jones of the Express, Photo by: Matt Jensen Photography)
For the second time of the season, the Spruce Kings finished with a draw.
Again, it was in front of a big crowd as a season high 1,463 turned out to watch on Veterans Appreciation Night. The first time Prince George tied was the home opener where it was a 2-2 score with the Merritt Centennials.
The first period was a restless one for fans, as the Express played an ideal opening frame getting lots of whistles, and taking the energy out of the building. That’s not to say Prince George didn’t get their chances though, as they outshot Coquitlam 17-4. Neither goalie would budge though, and the teams headed to the dressing room knotted at zero.
Things opened up in the second with the two team combining for five goals. It was Prince George getting on the board first as off a faceoff, Jamie Huber was able to dig for a puck in front of the net, and drive it through the legs of Lawson Fenton just 22 seconds in. Huber was one of three forwards who didn’t find the back of the net last weekend. The Express would tie the game four minutes later as Sam Kozlowski made his way into the Spruce Kings end. As he cut to the right at the top of the slot he sent a shot the opposite direction, and that caught Wornig going the wrong way, and went post in for the equalizer.
On a missed Express opportunity later, it was PG moving up ice on an odd man rush. It was an interesting bunch as there were two forwards from different lines, as well as defenseman Adam Burnett. The puck wound up on the left side for the big blueliner, and he made no mistake sending a shot past Fenton two restore the home team’s lead. The pesky Express would answer once again as Callum Cusinato took a shot from the left wall that managed to fool Wornig, and find mesh evening the game at two.
Chong Lee got the last laugh of the second as he was able to tip a Tyler Anderson shot in for his third goal in as many games. In just fifteen games, Anderson’s seven points are just two behind what he had all of last season in 58 games.
In the third, Wornig was missing from the ice, as he remained in the dressing room. That put Tavin Grant in the position of coming in to finish the game. Things didn’t get off to a great start as Keegan Jones scored on Coquitlam’s first shot of the period 18 seconds in to tie the game at three. Prince George would get two opportunities in the third on the power play, but the Express PK unit was able to shut the door, and the game went to overtime with the Spruce Kings outshooting the Express 47-23 after three periods.
Prince George’s lone visit to extra time had resulted in a tie against Merritt in the team’s season opener, while the Express had yet to lose with one win and one tie. Four-on-four the Spruce Kings held most of the play, and got three shots to Coquitlam’s one.
As expected, things opened up in the second period of overtime with the game going to three-on-three. Lawson Fenton had to make two breakaway stops, as he denied Adam Burnett a minute a half in, then stopped Jarod Hovde with 34 seconds remaining. Anderson had a chance in front of the awning cage, but getting his foot in the way was defenseman Jake Brien to save the game. Grant was no slouch either, coming up with a big glove save at the halfway mark of the OT. Neither team would finish, and that closed out the score with a 3-3 final.
The Spruce Kings remain two points ahead of the Express for third in the Mainland Division with one game in hand. The two teams are back at it tonight with another 7pm puckdrop.