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Hovde’s three-point night leads Spruce Kings over Express

Matt Jensen Photography

The score may not have been the best indicator of the game Friday night Coquitlam. The Spruce Kings dominated play, and allowed the first goal of the game but came back to win by a three goal margin 4-1 against the Express. Shots were 12-12 after the first period, but in the final two frames Prince George outshot the home team 35-9. Kyle Johnson left the game early due to injury, and the team may have rocked the score more, but losing Johnson cut them down to nine forwards for half the game.

Playing in front of their biggest crowd of the season, 1747 were in the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex Friday night to watching the Express. The home crowd got to their feet early as Owen Stout poked a puck to Mitch Newsome, who went down the left wing on a two-on-one with defenceman Jake Brien. Newsome sent the puck across the ice, and Brien was able to beat Tavin Grant for his third goal of the season, and second against the Spruce Kings. For Grant, it was his first start since sustaining an injury February 2nd in a 9-0 shutout of the Surrey Eagles.

Prince George evened the score at 13:32 of the first shortly after a faceoff. Parker Colley picked the puck up on the left wall, and swooped behind the net before sending a pass out front for Jarod Hovde. The forward with five goals and five assists in five games against Coquitlam already found himself alone in the slot, and on his backhand picked the top right corner.

In the second Hovde took the puck up from his own corner, hopped away from a Devin Mussio hit at centre ice, and led an odd-man break with Ben Poisson. Hovde passed the puck to the right, and Poisson was able to beat Lawson Fenton to give PG the 2-1 at 8:09. The Express would take three straight penalties to end the period, but the Spruce Kings were unable to capitalize.

Bryan Allbee was able to break out of his slump early in the third period, and got the monkey off his back. Travis Schneider won a faceoff in the left dot back to Allbee, and the blueliner who had gone 14 games without a point or goal blasted one home for the 3-1 lead 1:31 in.  Hovde had his second of the game shortly after the media timeout, as he broke out on a three-on-one. Playing give and go with the trailer Ethan O’Rourke, Hovde finished the play off with his 19th goal of the season. The assist ended O’Rourke’s seven game point drought heading into the game.

Making 20 saves, Tavin Grant secured a win in his first game back after being out with injury for three weeks. With the three points, Jarod Hovde finished the season with seven goals and six assists in six games against Coquitlam.

The win kept Prince George undefeated against Coquitlam this season ending with a 5-0-0-1 record. The lone tie came up in Prince George on the Spruce Kings veteran’s appreciation night. Tomorrow night at 6pm the team will head to Langley to take on the Rivermen who shut them out 4-0 this past Monday in the George Preston Arena. Langley played Friday night as well taking on the Wenatchee Wild falling 5-1. It will be the Rivermen’s third game in three days, and fourth in six days.

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