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Spruce Kings score an OT win

Ben Brar celebrates scoring the game winning goal in overtime. James Doyle Photography

It took more than two years, but the Prince George Spruce Kings finally collected a regular season overtime win. The last time the team picked up the extra point was October 17th 2014 against the Powell River Kings. Since then, the team had tied five games, and lost 11 games beyond 60 minutes.

Against the Langley Rivermen, the home team never actually led until their overtime tally. The first period saw Prince George outshoot the visitors 13-6, but neither goalie would budge. The best opportunity belonged to Angus Crookshank as a falling Nic Ponak crossed the puck on a two-on-one, but Tavin Grant playing his 13th consecutive game was up to the task.

In the second, it would be Langley converting just moments after a five-on-three expired. Cutting in from the right wall, Crookshank scored on the one man advantage, beating Grant glove side. In four games against Prince George, the Burnaby Winter Club alumni has three goals. Answering late in the frame was Jarod Hovde. Brett Mennear made a great individual effort to get a shot away, and collected his rebound before centring for Hovde. The Alberta forward shovelled in his thirteenth of the season to knot the game at one.

A late third period tally from Andrew Dumaresque put Prince George down 2-1 with 7:01 to play. The home crowd of 916 seemed tense, but never gave up. They were rewarded with 35 seconds to go as Tyler Anderson scored his 11th goal of the season putting him three ahead of Trevor Cosgrove of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, and Connor McCarthy of the Chilliwack Chiefs for first in defensemen scoring. Good in the circle all night long,  Brett Mennear won the draw back to Adam Burnett. The blueliner laid a pass across the ice to Anderson at the left point, and the big man made no mistake blasting the puck past Bo Didur tying the game at two. Immediately after the goal Anderson nearly ended the game in regulation as he walked up ice and took a shot that Didur was able to stop.

Unsuccessful on their first two attempts, the Spruce Kings broke through with a power play tally in overtime to take the extra point. Parker Colley drew the tripping penalty as he was hauled down by McKay Flanagan who got two minutes for tripping. With the four-on-three power play, it was again the captain coming up clutch. Mennear passed the puck to Burnett who took the shot, and Ben Brar in front of the net was able to tip in his sixth of the season, and fourth as a Spruce King. In 76 career games with the Penticton Vees, Brar had six goals, and already has four in 12 games with Prince George.

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