It might have been far from their best effort but it was good enough for the Prince George Spruce Kings who outduelled the Vernon Vipers on Friday by a 3-1 score in front of a sold-out crowd at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.
Game one of the Fred Page Cup final series had a little bit of everything from emotion, to timely goals and several momentum swings just to name a few.
“We just dumped the puck in and Welshy (Nolan Welsh) on the forecheck got the puck back and put it back to Layts and he made a great pass and all I had to do was tap it in.”
“We didn’t play our best today, we all know and can bring better. I mean it was a gritty win and were happy with the result and hopefully we can build on it tomorrow.”
Prince George held the lead for what seemed to be the longest time until the Vipers got even with a controversial goal where a Jack Judson point shot found its way through a maze of bodies and was re-directed by Jessie Lansdell much to the displeasure of the home crowd who thought it was tipped in by a high-stick.
Following the media timeout, the Spruce Kings took back control of the game and got an ugly one of their when Ben Brar parked himself in front of the Vipers net and made contact with a Chong Min Leeshot, which fooled Vernon goaltender Aidan Porter and sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
Ben Poisson then capped off the Game One win a slow-rolling empty-netter, which had just enough draw weight to reach the yawning cage.
Spruce Kings netminder Logan Neaton didn’t have a large shot volume stopping 23 of 24 shots but made several point blank stops at key times against the Viper forwards who tried to crack the stingy defence core of Prince George.
“I think it was just good team defence, I think we just bared down there late in the third and it was tough to give up that goal but at the end of the day I think we had a good response and we didn’t let that goal get to us,” said Neaton.
Neaton was named the game’s first star as a result.
Both teams only received one power-play each in the game not scoring on either opportunity.
Liam Watson-Brawn missed the game due to an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.
Game Two is set for tonight at 7 p.m. from the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.