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Weekend Recap: Scott Cousins leads the way for Spruce Kings

Photo Credit: Vicki Brown

PRINCE GEORGE- It had been a while, three weekends to be exact, but the Prince George Spruce Kings returned to home ice this past weekend for a double date with the Merritt Centennials. 

It was a special weekend at Kopar Memorial Arena. Friday night, the UNBC Timberwolves were in the building to watch the Spruce Kings. Scott Cousins (’04) gave them something to cheer about in the first twenty minutes. 

After Merritt scored first, Cousins would hustle his way below the goal line and pop and puck up and over the head of the Cents starting goalie Karlis Mezsargs (’03). 1-1, after the first period of play. 

Merritt would take control of the game in the second period, scoring three times in twenty minutes. The Spruce Kings would respond with one goal of their own courtesy of Linden Makow (’04) on the power play. 

The third period wouldn’t fare much better for the boys in blue. Charlie Zolin (’04) would replace Ryan Sanborn (’05) at the start of the period. Zolin would allow one goal on six shots. The Spruce Kings would also surrender an empty goal with two minutes left. The silver lining? Scott Cousins would pick up his second goal of the game just over halfway through the third period. 6-3 Centennials, the final score on Friday night.

Game Summary


Prince George: S. Cousins (7), L. Makow (15), S. Cousins (8)

Merritt: L. Pfoh (12), D. Wegner (8), D. Lariviere (12), J. Ziliotto (4),

K. Poulin (6), E. Ryan (11)


Ryan Sanborn (L) 40:00 (4GA 18 Saves)

Charlie Zolin 19:27 (1GA 5 Saves)

Karlis Mezsargs (W) 60:00 (3GA 28 Saves)

Power play 

Prince George: 1/5

Merritt: 0/1

Saturday night would be much more fun for everyone in attendance, and once again, it started with a special moment. 

Before the opening faceoff, the Spruce Kings would invite the family of Stu Berry to centre ice to unveil a banner in his honour. Stu Berry passed away in October of 2023. Stu was the Spruce Kings trainer for 25 years before retiring in 2008. 

With Stu Berry on their minds, the Spruce Kings would play one of their best games of the season. 

The first period was clean, with no scoring for either team. The second period was anything but tidy. 

The Spruce Kings would start the second period with their hair on fire. Owen Goodbrand (’04) would bury his tenth goal of the season within the first minute of the frame. Then, just three minutes later, J.R. Perdion would dance through multiple Centennials before firing a missile past Merritt goalie Andrew Ballantyne (’04). The Spruce Kings would lead 2-0 halfway through the second period. 

Charles-Thomas Larochelle (’03) would cut the lead in half with just over five minutes left in the period. Seconds after Merritt scored, they would catch the biggest break of the weekend. Linden Makow was assessed a kneeing major penalty and a game misconduct. The Centennials would have a five-minute power play. 

On the ensuing power play, Merritt would score twice, giving them a 3-2 lead heading into the final period of regulation. 

The score would remain 3-2 until Scott Cousins stepped up to the plate again. With under eight minutes remaining, the Prince George product would outwait Ballantyne and throw his third goal and fifth point of the weekend in the back of the net, forcing overtime at Kopar Memorial Arena. 

It didn’t take long for the Spruce Kings to strike in the extra period. Two 20-year-olds, Kilian McGregor-Bennett (’03) and Kai Greaves (’03), would team up and score the game-winner just one minute and 40 seconds into overtime. 

McGregor-Bennett would feed Greaves in the slot, and Greaves would make no mistake scoring his fifth goal of the season and the game-winning goal. Spruce Kings win, 4-3, the final on Saturday night.

Game Summary


Prince George: O. Goodbrand (10), J. Perdion (14), S. Cousins (9), K. Greaves (5)

Merritt: C. Lacrochelle (11), J. Zilliotto (5), L. Pfoh (13)


Charlie Zolin (W) 61:40 (3GA 26 Saves)

Andrew Ballantyne (OTL) 61:40 (4GA 27 Saves)

Power play 

Prince George: 0/2

Merritt: 2/5

Next Game: The Spruce Kings will be back at home next weekend as well. The Vernon Viper will make the trip to Prince George for two games at Kopar Memorial Arena. 7:00 PM on Friday, March 22, and 6:00 PM on Saturday, March 23.