PRINCE GEORGE – The Prince George Spruce Kings find themselves tied back up with the West Kelowna Warriors for points in the Interior Division after the Warriors defeated them 4-3 Saturday night at Kopar Memorial Arena.
The win snapped a four-game losing skid for the Warriors as they earned their 13th win of the season.
Justin Katz stopped 27 of 30 shots and came up with two key saves late in the third period to keep the Warriors ahead as he ended up earning his 11th win between the pipes for West Kelowna.
Jordan Fairlie turned away 22 of 26 shots, however, was handed his fourth loss of the season.
In the opening period, Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero scored his fifth goal of the season at 2:08. The goal was set up by Christopher Duclair who carried the puck around the PG net before connecting with the Warriors assistant captain.
Down 1-0, Prince George ended up landing themselves with a 5-on-3 powerplay following a pair of penalties to West Kelowna.
One night removed from scoring two goals, Austin Fraser scored on the powerplay at 5:16. The play was assisted by Kilian McGregor-Bennett and John Herrington.
Still, on the powerplay, Jake Schneider scored less than a minute after the Spruce Kings knotted up the score to take a 2-1 lead. Jack Stockfish set up the scoring play at 6:02.
At 16:04, Riley Sharun scored his second of the season to tie the game back up before the end of the opening period. Kailus Green and Kaiden Schaupmeyer assisted.
In the second period, Aiden Reeves pushed the Warriors ahead just 15 seconds into the middle period. The goal was the Prince George products second of the season. Bobby May and Jaiden Moriello earned assists.
After scoring on the powerplay in the opening period, Schneider put a shot on the Warriors’ net. The puck ricocheted off the blocker of Katz and into the back of the net to tie the game at 4-4. His second of the game marked his ninth of the season.
Despite the loss, Jake Schneider scored twice tonight.
He discusses the result and what the Spruce Kings need to do next week against Cranbrook. pic.twitter.com/hWIifjil09
— Prince George Spruce Kings (@SpruceKings) November 27, 2022
Penalties hurt the Spruce Kings in the final period of regulation. A pair of penalties put the Spruce Kings on the penalty kill down two skaters. PG killed of the initial penalty but a clearing attempt banked off a Spruce Kings player and stayed inside the defensive zone leading to a powerplay goal by Luke Devlin.
The goal put the Warriors ahead 4-3 at 6:34 and a strong defensive performance throughout the remaining time, as well as a pair of key saves from Katz, helped the Warriors secure the win and land themselves back into the win column.
West Kelowna finished the game going one for six on the powerplay. The lone powerplay goal ended up being the game-winner. Meanwhile, the Spruce Kings finished the game having scored twice on six occasions with the man advantage.
Prince George now gets ready for a pair of home games next weekend when they play host to the Cranbrook Bucks.
Friday, December 3 will be the first time the two teams meet this season.
For tickets, head to the Spruce Kings website. Fans can also contact the front office Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to purchase tickets either in person or by calling 250-564-1747.