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Spruce Kings drop 2-1 decision to Centennials in first pre-season game

Ron Gallo photo

A late goal from Ben Ward with three seconds left on the power-play was the game winner as the Merritt Centennials get their first win of the pre-season, defeating the Prince George Spruce Kings 2-1 on a Sunday afternoon at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.

Merritt opened the scoring 4:07 into the second period on the power play. Defenceman Grayson Valente let a wrist go on the short side of Aaron Trotter off the crossbar and in to give Merritt the lead. Blake Astorino and Zack Dallazanna had the helpers on Valente’s first of the pre-season.

Prince George tied it up at 17:21 of the second. Andrew Seaman spun and let a shot rip through traffic and over the glove of goaltender Colton Phillips-Watts. Corey Cunningham and Darwin Lakoduk had the helpers on Seaman’s second of the pre-season.

At 19:57 of the third, the Centennials were able to convert on a late power-play. Ben Ward redirected a Grayson Valente shot through the wickets of Aaron Trotter to give the Centennials the lead and the game winning goal. Valente and Talon Zakall had the assists on Ward’s first of the pre-season.

Final Shots: Merritt 17 Prince George 25

Colton Phillips-Watts: 24/25 saves for Merritt (1-0)

Aaron Trotter: 15/17 Saves for Prince George (1-1)

Three Stars:

1st Star: Grayson Valente (MER 1 G 1 A)

2nd Star: Andrew Seaman (PG 1 G)

3rd Star: Ben Ward ( MER 1 G)

Fortis BC Energy Player Of The Game: John Herrington (PG)

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