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Spruce Kings lose nail-biter in Vernon

Lisa Mazurek Photography

Corey Cunningham scored his 21st of the season and Carter Woodside made 35 big saves, however, a late goal in the final 20 seconds of the third period was what propelled the Vernon Vipers to a 2-1 win at Kal Tire Place.

“You definitely can’t fault the effort. I thought we battled hard. We made a mistake in our D zone late and it ended up in the back of our net,” Spruce Kings Associate Coach Colin Minardi. “Woody (Carter Woodside) was unbelievable again tonight. He made a bunch of great stops to keep us in that game from the get go, and did a great job.”

1st Period:

NO SCORING

Shots: 10-7 Vernon

2nd Period:

PG: At 16:03 of the 2nd period, Wil Kushniryk made an awesome pass up that boards that sprung Corey Cunningham on a partial break and inside the right circle, Cunningham ripped it top corner on goaltender Keegan Karki to give the Spruce Kings a 1-0 lead. Kushniryk had the lone helper on Cunningham’s team leading 21st goal of the year.

SHOTS: 13-7 Vernon

3rd Period:

VER: As the Vipers power-play expired, Connor Marritt had the puck right in front of the goal and was able to put it by Carter Woodside to tie the game at one. Marritt’s 13th of the year was assisted by Ryan Shostak and Nick Kent at 10:57 of the third.

VER: With 17.2 seconds remaining the period, the puck bounced to the stick of Connor Sleeth in front of the Spruce Kings goal and Sleeth buried it to give the Vipers a late lead and the 2-1 victory. Max Bulakwa and Trey Taylor had the assists on Sleeth’s fifth of the season.

Shots: 14-6 Vernon

Final Shots: 37-20 Vernon

Carter Woodside:  35/37 saves for Prince George (5-7-0)

Keegan Karki: 19/20 saves for Vernon (2-2-0)

Prince George Power-Play: 0/1

Vernon: 0/3

3 Stars:

  • Connor Sleeth (VER 1 G)
  • Carter Woodside (PG 35 Saves)
  • Connor Marritt (VER 1 G)

Fortis BC Energy Player of The Game:

Ryan Shostak (VER 1 A)

Next Spruce Kings Game: On the road Saturday Night at Royal LePage Place against the West Kelowna Warriors.

NOTES:

  • Corey Cunningham’s goal now has him in the team lead with 21 on the year
  • The Spruce Kings record when leading after two periods falls to 9-1 on the season.
  • Carter Woodside has now made 30 plus saves in his last two starts

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