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Spruce Kings drop season opener 4-1 to Silverbacks

Chris Fowler photo

SALMON ARM – The Prince George Spruce Kings were bettered by the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 4-1 in the first game of the 2023-24 season. 

In the first game of the year, the Spruce Kings were up against a familiar foe, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The team that bounced them from the playoffs just one season ago. 

It was a promising start when Quinn Disher (03) was tripped less than two minutes into the 1st period. 

However, it was the Silverbacks that struck first. On the penalty kill, it was centre Maddux Martin (05) who carried the puck through the neutral zone, letting it fly from the top of the circle and beating Kings goalie Marcus Ouellet (04) five-hole. 

Just over a minute later, the Spruce Kings struck back. Newly Acquired defenseman Tristan Taylor (04) threw a puck towards the net, after a few sticks deflected the puck into the slot it was the first-year Spruce King Skogen Schrott (05) who buried his first of the year behind Silverbacks goalie Ryan Grout (07). 

The rest of the first period was quiet until Silverbacks Nathaniel Davis (04) found the back of the net from the slot with under four minutes left in the frame. 

2-1 was the score after 20. 

That score didn’t change in the second period. In a period where neither team could sustain any offensive momentum, Prince George was sent to the penalty box three times. Unable to capitalize on the power-play opportunities, Salmon Arm maintained their 2-1 lead heading into the third period. 

Less than two minutes into the third period, the Silverbacks extended their lead to 3-1. JJ Monterio (06) scored his first goal of the season from the side of the net. 

The final goal came off the stick of Issac Lambert (03). The 20-year-old and the Silverbacks finally took advantage of the power-play. Finishing 1/5 with the man advantage Saturday. 

Overall, the boxscore will show a dominating offence performance from the Silverbacks, who outshot the Spruce Kings 39-14.

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