(Photo by Damon James Photography)
The Prince George Spruce Kings came close to picking up their first winning streak of the season, but fell just short on night two of the BCHL Showcase to the Penticton Vees.
Coming off their first win of the season, the Spruce Kings had some solid confidence following a 7-2 win over the Merritt Centennials the evening before. Prince George had seven different goal scorers, with Liam Watson-Brawn and Drew Lennon recording their first BCHL goals.
It would be Penticton getting off to the lead, as the Spruce Kings controlled play early, but Jacob Kamps was able to score to give the Vees the first score. Prince George would reply with a buzzer beater goal to end the period though. Picking the puck up at his own blueline, Brett Mennear passed the puck up to Jamie Huber who took a few steps, and laid into a shot from just outside the blue line. The bar clanged metal, and the refs consulted, eventually determining that it was the bar in the back of the net. The refs didn’t even drop the puck after as there was so little time left on the clock plus the Vees had already evacuated the bench for their dressing room.
In the second it would be Penticton scoring early and late to bump their lead to two. First it was Grant Cruikshank six minutes in, and then with 14 seconds left on the clock Ryley Risling scored the back breaker to make the score 3-1 heading to the third.
Prince George would press in the third, but were unable to beat Robson who came into the game to start the second period. With Tanner Campbell heading to the penalty box with less than five minutes left in the game, things looked bleak for the Spruce Kings. A pair of veterans would come up big though as Braiden Epp stole the puck at his blueline, and sprinted down the right wall on a two-on-one with Brett Mennear. From the top of the circle Epp would float a pass over to Mennear who made no mistake beating Robson and making the score 3-2 with just over four minutes remaining.
After that, Prince George wasn’t able to muster up much offence as Penticton did a good job of smothering any chances, and did a great job of tying the puck up along the walls.
Prince George heads home now with a pair of games in the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena this week. Trail is in town on Thursday night, while the Cowichan Valley Capitals roll in for a Friday night contest.