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Spruce Kings come from behind to defeat Wild 5-4 in overtime

WENATCHEE – Despite being down 2-0 at the end of the first period, and having to tie the game up on two occasions, the Prince George Spruce Kings were able to come from behind and seal an overtime victory Friday night against the Wenatchee Wild at the Town Toyota Center.

Ben LeFranc scored the game-winning goal 22 seconds into overtime, giving Prince George their 16th win. With the win, they improve their record to 16-11-1-1 and sit 4th in the Interior Division. Meanwhile, the Wild get handed their first overtime loss of the season. Their record now sits at 12-15-1-2.

After being outshot through the first period, the Spruce Kings opened up the shooting and bombarded Owen Millward with shots through the final 40 minutes. At the end of the game, the Spruce Kings owned the shots department by putting 39 shots on the net while having 26 shots against them.

In the opening period, the Wild got the scoring started. Micah Berger put his side ahead at 11:32. Cade Littler and Luke Weilandt earned assists.

Wenatchee added to their lead later in the period. Caleb Elfering, playing in his first game in the BCHL after being called up as an affiliate player, scored his first goal in the league. Mario Gasparini and Berger assisted the scoring play.

Amran Bhabra got the Spruce Kings on the board in the second period. At 8:30 of the middle frame, the Spruce Kings defenceman sniped a shot in the far corner of the net for his second goal of the game.

Berger scored his third point of the game with his second goal. With the Wild on the powerplay, Berger registered his 11th goal of the season. Littler and Ean Somoza assisted the play as the Wild reclaimed their two-goal lead.

Before the end of the second period, the Spruce Kings battled back to tie the game.

Jake Schneider parked himself in traffic, putting himself in position to deflect a point shot from Charlie Banquier to score his 10th goal of the season. The goal made it a 3-2 game in favour of Wenatchee.

In the final minute of the period, Ty Gagno was able to escape past contact from a defender before firing a shot near the corner on Millward and tying the game 3-3. It marked Gagno’s sixth goal of the season while Austin Fraser and Kai Greaves assisted on the play.

In the third period, Gabe Dombrowski got the Wild ahead after banking the puck off of the back of Fairlie and into the net. It was his 10th goal of the season as the Wild took the lead 4-3.

Past the midway mark, Kilian McGregor-Bennett knotted the game back up. Schneider carried the puck behind the Wenatchee net before feeding the puck to McGregor-Bennett in the slot for the eventual goal.

The game remained tied as the final few minutes played out in regulation, taking the game into overtime.

Just 22 seconds into the extra frame, LeFranc completed the comeback for Prince George, scoring his second goal of the season.

Jake Schneider finished the game with a three-point performance of his own, tallying a goal and two assists Friday night.

Prince George and Wenatchee will battle again Saturday night with puck drop happening at 5:05 PM as both teams look to close out 2022 with a win.

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