Spruce Kings take rubber match

The Langley Rivermen and Prince George Spruce Kings would play the back half of a doubleheader at the Prince George Coliseum on Friday night.  The Rivermen took the first meeting 6-3, 24 hours previous and took a 4-2 advantage in the season series. Darren Hogg would get his first start in seven games for the ‘Men, while Kirk Thompson would get his second start in two days.

The Spruce Kings would immediately come out of the gates with more intensity compared to Thursday night. Their power play capitalized on their first opportunity just before the eight minute mark. Prince George would pass the puck around the perimeter, which opened up space for Shayne Morrisey who would rip a shot short side on Hogg. Seven minutes later, Jace Hennig would make it a 2-0 game as he finished off a perfect pass from Cam Lawson on an odd man rush for his fourth of the season.

The second period featured one goal between the teams and once again it came from Prince George. Cam Lawson would once again go on an odd man rush, but this time he decided to shoot instead of pass and the move paid off as he beat Hogg glove side top corner. Langley had multiple opportunities to score in the period, but Thompson stopped all 14 shots he faced.

With the Rivermen in a hole entering the third period, the team would not give up and Jakob Reichert would score on the power play before the two-minute mark hit. Mark Whiteley, fired a shot on goal that Thompson kicked right towards a wide open Reichert who then popped in his eighth goal of the year. However, the Spruce Kings would get their three goal lead back on a power play goal by Cam Lawson. Just when it looked like things were bleak, who else but Mario Puskarich would give his team life again. The leading BCHL scorer would spot a loose rebound off hard work down low by Evan Campbell and Matt Ustaski and buried a wrist shot past a diving Kirk Thompson. With less than eight minutes to go, Puskarich would set up Evan Campbell off a rush down the right-wing with a quick snap shot shot between the legs of Thompson to make it a one goal game. The team was flying at that point as the comeback was a real possibility. Unfortunately, the Rivermen would have some calls go against them and PG put them away with two goals back to back from Morrisey and Lawson who capped off the hat-trick.

It was a valiant effort in the third frame, but the Spruce Kings would hand Langley a 6-3 loss, which was the same score the Rivermen gave them a night before. Thompson would pick up the win facing 42 shots, while Hogg saw 36. The PG power play was the difference going 3/4 in the contest.

The Boatmen will finish off the weekend at home on Sunday at 2:00 PM against Nanaimo.


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