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Spruce Kings lose back-to-back at home series against Cranbrook

Vicki Brown photo

For the first time this season, the Prince George Spruce Kings were swept in a weekend series inside their own arena.

The Cranbrook Bucks defeated the Spruce Kings 4-1 on Saturday night at Kopar Memorial Arena, following up their 3-2 victory from the night before to leave Northern BC with two wins.

Meanwhile, the Spruce Kings find themselves in the midst of a three-

Cranbrook outshot the Spruce Kings through the entire game, ending the game with the shots reading 36-32. Nathan Airey earned both wins for the weekend and stopped 31 shots with just the one blemish to his stat line on Saturday. Meanwhile, Aiden Feddema got the start for Prince George and stopped 32 of 35 shots before being pulled late in the third period.

Jack Silich opened the scoring for the Bucks in the first period. The team’s leading scorer ended up producing his 16th of the season after the Spruce Kings gave up the puck inside their own zone. Silich, who forced the turnover, ended up capitalizing on his own defensive play and scored the unassisted goal to put the Bucks ahead 1-0.

The first period didn’t see any penalties handed out.

In the second period, the Spruce Kings evened things up. Jack Stockfish scooped up a rebound from the side of the Cranbrook net and whipped around the net for the wraparound, scoring his sixth goal of the season at 2:31. Jake Schneider was credited with the assist on the play.

For the initial five minutes of the period, it appeared as though the Spruce Kings were shifting the momentum after tying up the score. However, that quickly came to a half following a tripping penalty to Ben LeFranc.

The Bucks responded on the powerplay. With nine seconds remaining to LeFranc’s penalty, Jarrod Smith stepped into the right-wing circle and fired in Cranbrooks’ second goal of the game. The goal marked Smith’s eighth of the season while Rhys Bentham and Donovan Frias added assists at 8:37 of the middle frame.

Back on the powerplay shortly later, the Bucks were a perfect two-for-two with the man advantage. Cameron Kungle scored his third of the season at 9:42 of the second period. Jack Henry and Cooper Boulanger both earned assists on the play as the Bucks earned themselves insurance and pulled away from the Spruce Kings.

Cranbrook carried the 3-1 lead into the second intermission and held onto it through much of the third period.

With just over three minutes remaining, Head Coach Alex Evin opted to pull Feddema in favour of the extra skater in a last-push effort. However, the Spruce Kings struggled to push the puck into the offensive zone as the Bucks held on, eventually scoring an empty-net goal with seven seconds remaining on the clock.

Donovan Frias earned his 10th goal of the season when he put the puck into the open PG net.

The Bucks finished the game having scored twice on three powerplay trips, proving to be the difference maker Saturday night.

Prince George now sees their losing streak get extended to three games, matching their season longest.

The Spruce Kings will be in action again on Wednesday when they visit the West Kelowna Warriors at Royal LePage Place. The Warriors sit tied for second in the Interior Division standings with the Cranbrook Bucks. Both teams have 31 points.

Prince George now sits with a record of 13-9-1-1 and currently rank fifth in the Interior Division.

The next game at Kopar Memorial Arena will be Friday, December 9 against the Cowichan Valley Capitals. it will be the annual DROP THE GLOVES AND SOCK IT TO ‘EM game.

Fans are encouraged to bring warm winter clothing including toques, scarves, gloves, or socks in bags and toss them on the ice when the Spruce Kings score their first goal. All donations will be given to St. Vincent de Paul.

Tickets are available at the Spruce Kings office Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or online 24 hours a day, seven days a week at

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