The Prince George Spruce Kings remain undefeated to start the 2022-23 BCHL regular season following a 4-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers in their home opener at Kopar Memorial Arena Friday night.
With the loss, the Vipers remain in the search for their first win of the season (0-3) while the Spruce Kings improve their record to 3-0.
Ty Gagno got the scoring underway just 4:10 into the opening period. The Spruce Kings found themselves on the powerplay following a tripping call to Dane Westen, leading to the Gagno goal who got his stick on a shot from John Herrington.
Less than a couple of minutes later, the Spruce Kings created some cushion. Back on the powerplay, Ben LeFranc made it a 2-0 hockey game. Herrington and Gagno earned assists on the play.
While Prince George was finding success on the powerplay, they also found themselves being the victim. Jack Stockfish was sent to the box for an interference penalty at 6:01 of the period. In the final second of the penalty, Luke Pakulak potted a powerplay marker for Vernon to get themselves on the board and draw to within one before the opening 20 minutes concluded.
In the second period, Herrington pushed his scoring streak to three games to start the season. At 11:03, Schneider spotted Herrington open in the slot. After a quick adjustment of the puck, Herrington wired a shot bar down and in to put the Spruce Kings up 3-1.
At 18:46 of the middle frame, Schneider scored one of his own. It marked the third powerplay goal of the night for the home side. LeFranc and Gagno assisted on the play.
The Vipers were only able to muster two shots during the second period and three in the third as the Spruce Kings tilted the ice.
One of the Vipers goals in the third did result in a goal, but the Spruce Kings held on to secure the 4-2 win to open the back-to-back series against the Vipers.
The Spruce Kings and the Vipers will face off again Saturday night at Kopar Memorial Arena to wrap up the weekend series.
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