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Spruce Kings take 2-0 series lead over Vipers

Logan Neaton stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced and 15-year-old Finlay Williams scored his first BCHL goal, which ended up being the game-winner, as the Prince George Spruce Kings won 4-1 at home to take a 2-0 series lead in the Fred Page Cup Finals.

Ben Brar started the scoring with a deflection goal almost identical to his goal in Game 1. He drove the net and knocked down a high shot to beat Vipers goalie Aidan Porter with under four minutes to play in the opening frame and Prince George led 1-0 after one.

In the second, it was Finlay, eight days shy of his 16th birthday, who knocked home a loose puck in the slot to double the Spruce Kings’ lead. Tonight was only Finlay’s sixth game of the playoffs and his 10th overall in the BCHL.

Jesse Lansdell answered for Vernon midway through the frame with his sixth goal of the playoffs and second in as many games. The 20-year-old BCHL veteran centred a pass after a Jagger Williamson wraparound attempt and the puck bounced off a Prince George defender and slowly slid across the line past a prone Neaton to cut the lead to one.

After the Vipers got in penalty trouble late in the second and went down 5-on-3, Nick Bochen one-timed a pass from Dylan Anhorn from the point and blew the puck by a screened Porter to make it 3-1 heading into intermission.

Both goalies shut the door in the third period as Prince George outshot Vernon 13-9 in the final frame and Brar sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 39 seconds to play to make it a 4-1 final.

With his 27-save performance in the crease, Neaton was named the first star of the game for the second night in a row.

Down 0-2 in the series, Vernon will look to rebound at home in Game 3 on Tuesday.