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McGregor-Bennett scores OT winner to defeat Smokies 4-3

Vicki Brown photo

Fourteen seconds into the overtime period, John Herrington worked the puck along the left wing before feeding Kilian McGregor-Bennett low in the slot to secure the Spruce Kings’ 4-3 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters at Kopar Memorial Arena Saturday night.

Prince George improves their record to 19-14-2-1 while the Smoke Eaters earned a point after battling back in the third period to force overtime. Trail’s record now sits 15-16-2-3.

Aidan Feddema earned the victory in net for Prince George as he stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced. Keegan Maddocks stood tall between the pipes for Trail, stopping 32 of 36 shots but ended up being handed the overtime loss.

The scoring got underway in the first period but not until the final minute ahead of intermission. Charlie Banquier put a shot on net from inside the blue line. Owen Goodbrand positioned himself in the slot and deflected the shot, finding its way in past Maddocks to put the Spruce Kings ahead 1-0. The goal was Goodbrand’s first as a member of the Spruce Kings since being acquired from the Cowichan Valley Capitals earlier this month.

In the second period, Ty Gagno extended the Spruce Kings lead to 2-0 after he stepped in along the right wing and put a shot in off the underside of the crossbar. The goal stood as the College of the Holy Cross-commit’s ninth of the season. The goal came at 8:26 and was assisted by Austin Fraser.

26 seconds later, the Smoke Eaters responded. Brady Hunter scored an unassisted tally to bring the Smokies to within one.

Later in the period, Kilian McGrgeor-Bennett was sent to the box to serve two minutes for tripping at 16:40. On the penalty kill, the Spruce Kings secured their first shorthanded goal of the season when Jack Stockfish forced a turnover in the neutral zone and took it in the offensive zone, firing a wrist shot in past Maddocks at 17:28.

The Spruce Kings took a 3-1 lead into the third period, but the Smoke Eaters battled back.

Hunter was awarded a penalty shot after being slashed on a shorthanded breakaway at 2:59 into the third period. Hunter made use of the opportunity and put the puck in past Feddema’s blocker side to bring the Smoke Eaters to within one.

Hunter Price was sent to the box for the lone penalty in the period after committing a boarding penalty. Evan Bushy scored his fourth goal of the season at 9:00 to tie the game up at 3-3. Mathieu Cobetto-Roy and Brady Hunter assisted the play.

The game remained tied through the remaining 11 minutes of regulation, putting the game into an overtime period.

14 seconds into overtime, Kilian McGregor-Bennett scored his second overtime goal of the season to seal the 4-3 win in favour of the Spruce Kings.

The Spruce Kings will take on the Smoke Eaters on Sunday with a 3:00 PM puck drop at Kopar Memorial Arena.

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