(Liam Watson-Brawn gives Stefan Wornig a fist bump after scoring the tying goal in the first, photo by Matt Jensen Photography)
It took nearly two years, but the Spruce Kings were eventually able to beat the Chilliwack Chiefs. Dating back to December 5th 2014, the Spruce Kings had yet to pick up a win against the Chiefs, but that ended Thursday night in the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.
After falling 3-2 the night before in double overtime to the Vernon Vipers, the Chiefs had their work cut out for them following a drive after the game to Williams Lake, and then a ride from there to Prince George today. Chilliwack was able to hold Prince George without a shot for the first four minutes, and scored the first of the game on a beautiful tally from Tommy Lee. Taking a feed at centre ice from Austin Chorney, the Calgary product raced down the left wing, and went bar down with a shot over Stefan Wornig’s right shoulder.
The Chiefs were 7-1 when leading after one, and Prince George didn’t want that stat to stand out. Brett Mennear rolled through a few defenders, and drew Brendan Barry well out of his net. Mennear then sent the puck to the slot where no one was at first. Liam Watson-Brawn came out of no where though, and snapped a shot into the net with Barry diving to get back in position. That tied the game with just 2:20 left in the first period. The goal came a few minutes after Ethan de Jong was denied shorthanded by the glove of Brendan Barry.
In the second, a scary hit on Adam Burnett fuelled the Spruce Kings to their first lead. Josh Borynec hit Adam Burnett into the boards, and the veteran defenseman stayed on the ice for a few minutes before making his way to the bench. The play led to the ejection of Borynec, and a five minute Spruce Kings power play. It was Burnett’s billet brother coming to the rescue, as Parker Colley took a pass from Cavin Tilsley, and walked off the right wall firing a shot for the 2-1 lead with 13:04 to go in the second. That score would hold for the remainder of the period, and the Spruce Kings were 2-0 when up after two.
Prince George was forced to kill a penalty to begin the final frame, but were able to prevent the Chiefs from scoring to tie the game. The team was able to build momentum off that, and hold Chilliwack off as they pushed for the tying goal. The insurance for Prince George came on another penalty as Adam Burnett stepped into a slap shot, and got a tip from Tanner Campbell to beat Barry through the legs. Trailing 3-1, the Chiefs pulled Barry, but wound up getting burned for it as Brett Mennear took the puck in his own zone, and flinging it down ice for the 4-1 dagger.
Stefan Wornig starting his third game in a row was named the first star after stopping 28 of 29 shots. Mennear with a goal and assist was the second star, while Kohen Olischefski was the third. With liekly his best game of the season, Parker Colley was the Fortis Energy Player of the Game. Chilliwack was 0 for 3 on the power play while the Spruce Kings had two power play goals for the second time in three games going 2 for 6.