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Weekend Recap: Spruce Kings struggle at home against Silverbacks

Photo Credit: Vicki Brown

PRINCE GEORGE- The Spruce Kings were back at Kopar Memorial Arena this past weekend, hosting the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. 

It was a doubleheader with one of the top teams in the Interior Conference. Friday, the first of two games, was full of excitement. 

The Spruce Kings came out flying on Friday, throwing 15 shots the way of Silverbacks starting goaltender Eli Pulver (’03). Unfortunately, the only goal of period number one belonged to Salmon Arm. 

Three minutes and 47 seconds into the game, Maddux Martin (’05) beat Spruce Kings Goalie Ryan Sanborn (’05), giving Salmon Arm a 1-0 lead after the first period. 

The Kings would struggle in period number two. The Silverbacks would score three times. Two coming off the stick of Issac Lambert (’03), the other courtesy of Cole Cooksey (’05). 

Prince George would finally beat Pulver halfway through the second period. Kazumo Sasaki (’05) would load up a wrist shot from the top of the circles that sailed by the Silverbacks goalie. The goal is good for Sasaki’s seventh of the season. 4-1, the Silverbacks lead after 40 minutes. 

As the Spruce Kings do, the team made it interesting in the third period. It all started when Max Ranström (’04) scored his sixth goal of the season on the power play. A wicked wrister from the blue line sailed past Pulver, cutting the lead down to two. 

Ten minutes later, the Spruce Kings would strike again. This time it was Lucas Veilleux (’05). The Ottawa, Ontario, product would slide his fifth goal of the season through the legs of Pulver. 

The next six minutes of game action would see the Spruce Kings throw everything they had at the Silverbacks. Ultimately, the team would come up short, allowing an empty net goal. 5-3, the final score Friday night. 

Game Summary


Prince George: K. Sasaki (7), M. Ranström (6), L. Veilleux (5)

Salmon Arm: M. Martin (10), C. Cooksey (10, I. Lambert (13), I. Lambert (14), I. Lambert (15)


Ryan Sanborn (L) 58.38 (4GA 24 Saves)

Eli Pulver (W) 60:00 (3GA 30 Saves)

Power play 

Prince George: 2/4

Salmon Arm: 1/5

The Spruce Kings would be right back in action on Saturday night. The second game of the weekend would not be as close. 

The Silverbacks would score four goals in the first 20 minutes of play. Maddux Martin would again open the scoring for Salmon arm, just as he did on Friday night. 

The Spruce Kings would be heavily outshot in the second and third periods. The Silverbacks would throw two more on the board in the final frame. 6-0, the final score on Saturday. 

16-year-old Ryan Grout (’07) would pick up his first career BCHL shutout Friday night, turning away all 22 shots Prince George threw his way. 

Game Summary


Prince George:

Salmon Arm: M. Martin (11), N. Wellenreiter (4), N. Mackie (7), J. Monteiro (14), L. Gayfer (3), J. Aegerter (3)


Charlie Zolin (L) 60.00 (6GA 41 Saves)

Ryan Grout (W) 60:00 (0GA 22 Saves)

Power play 

Prince George: 0/3

Salmon Arm: 2/2

Next Game: The Spruce Kings will be back on home ice next weekend. Once again, an Interior Conference rival will make its way to the northern capital, the Cranbrook Bucks. Friday night’s game will start at 7:00 pm, and Saturday will start at 6:00 pm.