An improving power-play was the difference maker for the Prince George Spruce Kings as they kicked off the Coastal Champion series with a 2-1 over the Powell River Kings Friday night at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.
The Mainland Divsion Champions went two-for-seven on the man advantage as Ben Brar potted the game-winner at 5:10 of the third period to send the 1,973 fans into a frenzy.
18-year-old defenceman Dylan Anhorn stood out on the back end after receiving additional minutes due to the suspension of Liam-Watson Brawn and Layton Ahac who was unable to play the second half of the game after a skate issue.
“Those were a lot of minutes we had to fill tonight between those two defenceman and it forced us to move up and gives us more responsiblity, I think we did a good job tonight as I’m glad we got the win and we can move forward.”
“They’re were a lot of penalties tonight and we are trying to improve our numbers on the penalty kill and power play from the last series and we continue to work on it, following up to this one.”
Jarod Hovde tickled the twine scoring his first of the playoffs, which was hard slapshot from the point that fooled a screened Mateo Paler-Chow.
“I was kind of lucky I guess, just threw it to the net and it ended up going in so it was nice to get that one.”
Ben Berard lit the lamp in the middle frame on the power play for the Kings, tipping home a point shot from Carmine Buono.
Game two goes Saturday night at 7 p.m. from the RMCA and while the initial effort looks good on paper, Hovde believes the Spruce Kings have a bit more in them.
“We have to tighten it up, we gave up too many shots tonight and we have to come out tomorrow (Saturday) and play well.”
Evan DeBrower made 24 saves in the victory.