The Prince George Spruce Kings winning streak came to a close this evening, as they fell in a 6-5 barnburner to the Merritt Centennials at the Chilliwack Coliseum. Christian Buono, Amran Bhabra (First BCHL goal), Simon Labelle, John Herrington, and Rowan Miller all tallied for Prince George, while Jordan Fairlie got the loss in goal making 17 saves.
At 7:06 of the opening frame, Christian Buono was able to take the puck away on a Centennial power-play in the neutral zone and deposited his team leading 11th goal, short-handed on a breakaway. Buono’s marker was unassisted.
Just over a minute later on a Centennials power-play, Alex Ochitwa shovelled a backhander in the slot blocker slide past Jordan Fairlie to tie the game at one. Ochitwa’s second in the pod was assisted by Ben Ward and Tristan Allen at 8:27.
In the second period a shot by Amran Bhabra from the right point found its way through traffic, and underneath the arm of Colton Phillips-Watts to give the Spruce Kings the lead. Bhabra’s first BCHL goal was assisted by Nick Rhéaume and Simon Labelle at 10:19.
A shot from Ben Ward at 18:27 of the second frame found its way past Jordan Fairlie to tie the game up at two. Ward’s second in the pod had Trevor Isaksson and Tristan Allen with the helpers.
On a Spruce Kings five-on-three power-play in the third, Ben Ward was able to force a turnover and get a short-handed breakaway and got taken down by Mason Waite to force a Centennials penalty shot. The Ward penalty shot was stopped by the blocker of Jordan Fairlie to keep the game tied.
On a Spruce Kings powerplay, a Simon Labelle shot from the right side got by Phillips-Watts to give the Spruce Kings the lead. Labelle’s second of the season was assisted by Nick Rhéaume and Tanner Main, 43 seconds into the period.
At 3:26 of the third, a scramble in front of the Prince George goal, and it was Prince George product Alexander Ochitwa again who scored his second of the night and third in the pod. The Ochitwa tally was assisted by Liam Visram and Brandon Dent.
Just over a minute later, it was once again the Centennials who converted. A Blake Astorino shot was stopped by Jordan Fairlie, but the rebound came right to defenceman Trevor Isaksson who tapped it home into the empty cage to give the Centennials a 4-3 lead.
Less than two minutes later, John Herrington found himself in the high slot and ripped a wrist shot past Phillips-Watts to tie the game back up at four. Herrington’s fifth in the pod was unassisted at 6:29.
Less than a minute later, it was another scramble in front of the goal, and Walker Erickson was able to jam the puck home past Fairlie to regain the Centennial lead. Erickson’s fifth in the pod was assisted by Ben Ward and Liam Visram.
Twenty seconds later, on a Centennial 2-on-1, it was again Erickson who ripped it top shelf past Fairlie to give the Centennials a 6-4 lead. Erickson’s second of the game and sixth of the pod season was assisted by Talon Zakall and Ben Ward at 7:40.
A Rowan Miller shot from the right circle was initially blocked by Wyatt Marlow, however, the puck came right back to Miller and he shot it off a Centennial body and in to get the Spruce Kings back within one. Miller’s fourth of the season was assisted by Mason Waite and Connor Elliott at 11:54.
PG 5 MER 6
PG 51 MER 23
PG 1/3 MER 1/4
PG: L Jordan Fairlie 17 Saves (4-2)
MER: W Colton Phillips Watts 46 Saves (1-3)
- MER: Ben Ward (1 G 3 A)
- MER: Alex Ochitwa (2 G)
- MER: Colton Phillips-Watts (46 Saves)
FORTIS BC ENERGY PLAYER OF THE GAME:
MER: Tristan Allen (3 A)