The Prince George Spruce Kings went toe-to-toe against the Interior Division’s best team and didn’t bat an eyelash edging the Vernon Vipers by a 2-1 margin on Friday from the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.
The hosts got off to a slow start again falling behind 1-0 following a late goal from Derek Brown.
It was gutcheck time for the Spruce Kings in the second, leading to a pair of clutch goal from Ben Poisson and Ben Brar 90 seconds apart solving Vernon netminder Ty Taylor, much to the delight of defenceman Chays Ruddy.
“Those guys stepped up when Johnson and De Jong left for the World Junior A Challenge and they’ve had a lot of our point production lately, which is huge and good for those guys. I can’t give them enough dividends, it’s unbelievable what they have been doing and they come in every night ready to play.”
This is the second time in less than two weeks the Spruce Kings beat the Vipers with their last encounter coming on January, 6th in Vernon.
The temperature of the game went up a few degrees early in the third after a disputed goal by Vernon was overturned after Evan DeBrouwer had the puck in his glove in the crease.
Ruddy adds some of the hatred comes naturally when both games are tight-checking and very close together.
“Anytime you play a team twice and they’re both close games like 2-1 things are going to pickup especially when there’s some questionable calls or two five-on-three’s like that the tempers are going to be flaring.”
The Spruce Kings are still first in the Mainland Division after the Langley Rivermen fell 4-3 to the Powell River Kings on Friday while the Surrey Eagles were idle.
Prince George improves to 22-14-4-4 on the season and will host the Powell River Kings at 3 p.m. from the RMCA.