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Spruce Kings fall short in shooout against Merritt

The Prince George Spruce Kings probably feel a little empty after starting a three-game road trip following the BCHL holiday break.

A hard-fought 3-2 shootout result did not go the way of the visitors coming within less than a minute of clinching a victory over the Merritt Centennials.

With the game scoreless after the opening 40 minutes, the game started to finally open up as Merritt lit the lamp first courtesy of Payton Matsui who ripped one past netminder Logan Neaton for a 1-0 lead.

The advantage would last all of 18 seconds as Nolan Welsh found the back of the cage against Cents netminder Austin Roden evening the game at one.

Nicholas Poisson gave the Spruce Kings its only lead of the contest courtesy of a power-play goal assisted by Layton Ahac.

However, the Cents refused to go away quietly, Matthew Kopperud dug deep and found a way to wrap one past Neaton to force overtime.

Kopperud would later secure the victory scoring the only goal in the shootout.

Prince George continues its road swing Saturday against Cowichan Valley.