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Power play too little, too late for Spruce Kings

Ben Brar goes down to block a Davis Bunz shot. Photo by: Matt Jensen Photography

The power play finally clicked, but with just over a minute left in the hockey game it was a tad too late for the unit that was one for six on the night.

Making his second start as a Spruce King, Aris Anagnostopoulous didn’t quite get off to the start he would’ve liked. Right off the opening faceoff, Will Calverly took a shot from the Spruce Kings blueline that trickled over the netminders glove, and into the goal for the 1-0 lead five seconds in. Prince George would reply shortly though as Tyler Anderson picked up a puck, and 30 seconds after the opening goal tied the game at one apiece. Another long shot beat Anagnostopoulos at 10:41, prompting Chad van Diemen to put Tavin Grant in net after. The goal came from Olivier Arseneau and was the second goal on eight shots. Kale Kane and Cole Poliziani each took penalties in the final ten minutes, but Prince George couldn’t cash in to tie the game.

The failed power plays cost the home side in the second as Kohen Olishefski was able to score on a lose puck in front of the Spruce Kings crease 1:48 in to give his side a 3-1 lead.

Prince George’s best chance of the period came four on four as Brett Mennear got a partial breakaway, but with two Chiefs right on his tail slapped the puck wide of the net.

Starting the their final period on the powerplay, the Spruce Kings were unable to capitalize on the brief opportunity that had started late in the second. Making his third appearance since being out for two months due to injury, Tanner Campbell’s night ended early at 4:41 taking a interference penalty and game misconduct. The Chiefs were unable to extend their lead, and took another penalty after that the Spruce Kings were again unable to score on.

Right before the BCHL media timeout, the Chiefs drove home a dagger as Jake Smith stole the puck in the slot, and beat Tavin Grant at 9:03 to put Chilliwack ahead 4-1. With six to go in the period a high shot from Bryan Allbee rocketed over the Chilliwack net, and Ben Brar was nearly able to pop it in from the side of the net, but just missed hitting the outside of the mesh.

With an upcoming penalty coming to the Spruce Kings, the Chiefs decided to save going to another power play as Jordan Kawaguchi struck. From the bottom of the right faceoff circle, Kawaguchi went bar down on his backhand to give Chilliwack a 5-1 cushion.

Ben Brar kept his hot play alive scoring on a late power play. Drew Lennon had the puck on the right wall, and centred to Brar for the easy tap in. Since coming over from Penticton Brar now has 10 goals in 19 games.

Kale Kane had four points the night before, and the Spruce Kings were able to hold him to just one assist Saturday. Chilliwack outshot Prince George 35-29, and kept the season series with two wins, one overtime win, and one loss now. PG has three games left against the Chiefs with all of them being played down in Prospera Centre. The Spruce Kings now take on Wenatchee this weekend against in a doubleheader against a team that hasn’t lost in regulation on home ice this season.

Tyler Anderson was the third star Saturday night with his one goal. Linden Hora had a pair of helpers good for second star, and Mark Sinclair with the 27 save effort was the first. Jarod Hovde was named the BC Fortis Energy Player of the Game.

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