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Spruce Kings return to the win column against Grizzlies

Spruce Kings photo

Kai Greaves fluttered up a shot the length of the ice, placing the puck between the pipes of an empty Victoria Grizzlies net in the final minute of play to secure a 3-1 victory for Prince George, putting the Spruce Kings back in the win column.

With the win, Prince George improves to 4-1 on the season while the Grizzlies fall to 1-3-0-1.

Jordan Fairlie improved his record between the pipes to a perfect 4-0 on the year, turning in a 26-save performance on 27 shots. In the other crease, Oliver Auyeung-Ashton kept the Grizzlies alive for much of the game as he made 32 saves on the night, turning away a number of strong scoring opportunities from the Spruce Kings.

In the first period, the Spruce Kings looked to be controlling the pace of the game with strong play through the neutral zone. Prince George managed to keep the puck in the offensive zone for much of the first period. However, the tide shifted in the final quarter of the period as Victoria stepped their offensive play up.

At 17:54 of the period, Jack Gorton turned in his first of the season as he stepped up on a rebound and put the puck in past a sprawling Fairlie. The goal was assisted by Owen Bohn and Tyler Waram.

The Grizzlies carried a 1-0 lead into the 1st intermission.

In the second period, Luke Eurig evened things up at 13:27. The goal marked his first in the BCHL as Luke Schraeder and Adam Mendelson were credited with the assists.

Following a slashing call to Olivier Picard at 18:11, the Spruce Kings got their first opportunity on the powerplay in the game and they capitalized. Linden Makow potted a marker with the man advantage with four seconds remaining in the period, sending PG to the locker room with a 2-1 lead.

The Spruce Kings held onto their lead through the third period, leaving the Grizzlies with no other option but to put Auyeung-Ashton on the bench. After the Spruce Kings won a faceoff in their own zone, Kai Greaves scooped a shot down the length of the ice, scoring his first as a member of the Spruce Kings on the empty net and securing the team’s fourth win of the season.

Prince George will look to take the momentum from Friday night into another home matchup on Saturday when the Merritt Centennials come to Kopar Memorial Arena.

The Centennials lost to the Penticton Vees Friday night 6-0.

The opening puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game can be watched on HockeyTV or listened to on Mixlr.

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