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Spruce Kings shutdown potent Centennials

The potent offensive attack from the Merritt Centennials was anything but against the Prince George Spruce Kings.

Kicking off a seven-game homestand on Wednesday, the Spruce Kings once again dominated their opponent, posting a 3-1 at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.

Prince George scored three times on their first 15 shots, chasing Merritt netminder Vincent Duplessis.

A scramble goal from Tyler Schleppe began the offensive explosion followed by a nice curl and drag finish by Ben Brar on the power-play to make it 2-0.

Sean Donaldson completed the offensive barrage putting a weak backhander in between the legs of the Merritt goaltender, chasing Duplessis from the game and replacing him with Austin Roden.

“Merritt was on the bus all day and we knew we had to come out and capitalize in the first and that’s exactly what they did.”

The Spruce Kings made a potent Centennials attack look ordinary, which has been hard to do for opposing teams this BCHL season thanks to players like Bradley Cocca, Nick Granowicz and Matthieu Gosselin who are in the top 13 in scoring.

With Merritt getting outshot 44-20 and the Centennial trio held to one point, Prince George played its game plan to a tee, forcing the opposition to play defensive hockey.

“We talked about them being an offensive team and there also not very good defensively so we talked about how we could outwork their defence down low and score some goals.”

The only blemish for the Spruce Kings was the inability to solve Roden who made 29 saves over the final two periods, earning him the game’s third star.

Prince George now leapfrogs past the Chilliwack Chiefs for top spot in the Mainland Division with a 20-7-1-2 record.

Next up for the Spruce Kings is a pair of home games against the Langley Rivermen Friday and Saturday at 7pm from the RMCA.