Lucas Vanroboys went from goat to hero.
The 19-year-old deflected a Max Coyle shot in overtime to give the Prince George Spruce Kings a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Coquitlam Express giving them a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-seven Mainland Division semi-finals.
Vanroboys redeemed himself after an early unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the first period, which saw him stapled to bench for the final 40 minutes of regulation.
“That was huge. I took a bad penalty there in the first and I got a little punishment for that but when the opportunities come you’ve got to capitalize on them and that’s what I did.”
“I think you could really tell towards the end they were tired based on the style we played towards them. Max made a nice shot through a couple of screens their and it just hit me and went in.”
Coquitlam held a 1-0 lead after two periods of play after a Josh Wildauer goal late on the power-play put the visitors in front.
Chong Min Lee netted a fluky one where his sharp angle shot deflected off an Express defender and through the legs of goaltender Kolby Matthews.
“It was my first BCHL playoff goal and we ran overplay where it is a come over and a shot sequence, their defenceman poked it in and I got lucky but I’ll take it, “ Lee said.
Prince George dug deep again late in the third period on the man-advantage as Ben Brar tipped home a Dylan Anhron pass to send the game into overtime.
“We trusted our teammates. We kind of playing for eachother out there and we knew we had the resilience to come back and tie it up in the third and when we were down one, you could obviously see we had a good push back. It was an unfortunate bounce for them on our second goal but we came out, pushed back and got the job done.”
Prince George outshot the Express 39-29 in the game, going 2-for-5 on the power-play.
Logan Neaton picked up the 27-save victory.
The scene shifts to the Lower Mainland for Games Three and Four Monday and Tuesday, with the games to be broadcast on 93.1 CFIS FM and Hockey TV
If necessary, Game Five will be played Thursday in PG at 7pm from the RMCA.