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Spruce Kings win second straight OT game

Spruce Kings flood the ice after the Tyler Anderson GWG in double overtime. Photo courtesy of the Prince George Spruce Kings

It took the Spruce Kings over two years to win a regular season game in overtime, and now they have two in a row.

Following a tight 3-2 win the night before with Ben Brar playing hero, the floodgates opened up and the offence combined for 13 goals with Prince George winning 7-6 in double overtime against the Langley Rivermen.

Each team was missing a key player the night before as Langley’s leading scorer Ryan Barrow had been suspended four games for a blow to the head, and the victim Kyle Johnson sat out the game as well due to the hit he took.

Striking early were the Spruce Kings, as they scored their first of three goals on the man advantage. 2:32 into the game, Francis Bois took a checking from behind penalty, and also got a game misconduct. The power play needed just seven seconds as Drew Lennon took a shot, and rebounded out to Brett Mennear who fired in his 18th goal of the season, and opened the scoring for the 4th time. Following it was all Langley as they dominated the next 15 minutes. With Keegan Ward unable to clear a puck in his own corner, former Spruce King Nic Ponak who had been shutout in the last three games against his former team fired in a slap shot to tie the game.

With one assist in his first three games against Prince George this season, Zac Masson would finally come alive scoring twice in a span of seven minutes. The first came 8:25 into the game, a minute after the Ponak goal. Jamming in front of the net, Masson was able to beat Tavin Grant for the first Langley lead of the game. Masson doubled the lead with 4:14 to go on a break away tucking the puck just inside the left post. Last season vs Prince George the forward had two goals and four assists.

The wheels would fall off the Langley wagon shortly after, as they took three penalties in 25 seconds. Angus Crookshank was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after jamming at the glove of Grant following a whistle, and the Langley bench then received a bench misconduct for arguing. That gave the Spruce Kings a full 2:00 of five-on-three. 25 seconds in Cameron Ginnetti was called for slashing as well. Tying the game the previous night, Tyler Anderson would strike again on the power play scoring with a wrister from the right point beating Didur blocker side. A minute later it was Anderson playing setup man as he got the puck to Brett Mennear who lasered in a shot to tie the game at 3 with 1:12 to go in the first.

After six first period goals, the second was mild in comparison with the Spruce Kings picking up a pair. Ben Poisson ripped a slap shot from the top of the left circle picking the top left corner 13:00 in. 4:33 after, it was Ben Brar scoring his second goal in as many nights to give Prince George the 5-3 lead heading to the third. Mennear nearly had his hat-trick before the frame expired, but was denied by a sprawling Bo Didur.

That save would prove vital, as a penalty was expiring early in the third and local Langley product Brendan Budy scored to get his team within one. 6:09 in the Rivermen would battle back with Cooper Leitch taking a cross ice feed from Reid Yochim and beating Grant to tie things up at five. Looking for his second game winning goal in a row, Ben Brar scored his sixth goal of the season with Prince George. Coming out from the right corner, the forward was able to out wait, and slid the puck past Didur. In 76 games for the Penticton Vees, Brar had six goals. In 13 games with the Spruce Kings he has already equalled that number.

Tyler Anderson would take a late double-minor, and sat in the box as he watched McKay Flanagan blast in the game tying goal with 4:28 to go. The Rivermen had a full two minutes left of power play time to work with, but couldn’t beat the Spruce Kings PK unit which allowed one goal on six opportunities. In four games this season, the Rivermen had 21 power plays agaisnt Prince George converting on two occasions.

Making his Prince George debut, local boy Bryan Allbee earned plenty of playing time in overtime. After playing regulation up front, the regular defenceman was moved back to his natural position after 60 minutes. The move paid off in double overtime as he broke out on a two-on-one with Tyler Anderson, a perfect pass across hit Anderson on the stick, and the other scored his second of the game to give Prince George the victory in overtime. The former RBC Cup winner Anderson added to his BCHL lead in goals amongst defensemen now up to thirteen on the season in 28 games. That more than he had in his entire 64 game tenure with West Kelowna where he had 11 regular season points.

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