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Spruce Kings advance to the final

A flurry of goals in the second period gave the Prince George Spruce Kings a 2-1 victory over the Oakville Blades in the semi-final on Saturday night at the National Junior A Championship.

The victory propelled the Spruce Kings into the National Championship game against the Host Brooks Bandits, who they’ll face for the eighth time in the last three weeks.

After a scoreless first period, and a long stretch of the second without a goal, the game broke in 1:45.

It started on the power play for the Spruce Kings as Nick Poisson got a gift in front of the net and was able to slide the puck into a yawning cage after a bobble from Blades netminder Will Barber.

Just 1:04 after the goal, a quick play up the ice by Oakville resulted in the tying goal, as Kyle Lewis buried a feed from Harrison Israels to put a damper on the Spruce Kings spirits.

Ben Brar however, didn’t care. He received a puck a centre ice from Dustin Manz and drove wide on the Blades defence, cutting through the crease just 41 seconds later for the eventual game winner.

Prince George had a battle in the third period, killing off a 5-minute major to captain Ben Poisson, allowing seven shots but Logan Neaton stood tall.

The Blades would fire 18 shots on goal in the final frame, but Neaton stopped them all, making 32 saves on the night.

Prince George was 1/3 on the man advantage, while the Blades were 0/2.

The Brooks Bandits survived a late scare from the Ottawa Jr Senators in the early semi-final, as they held on for a 4-3 victory.

The Spruce Kings will play in their second National Championship final, after falling to the Aurora Tigers as host in 2007 at the CN Centre, 13 hours after their marathon five overtime victory.

TSN 3 will carry the final game Sunday at 2 p.m. with Bryan Mudryk and Craig Button providing the commentary. Kyle Anderson and Brendan Pawliw will have the radio call on 93.1 CFIS FM.

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