The Prince George Spruce Kings and the Grande Prairie Storm opened up the second Faceoff Fever event in Dawson Creek with a matinee game played in the EnCana Events Centre. Limited to only regulation time, the two teams ended skating to a 2-2 tie.
The Grande Prairie Storm opened the scoring when a long point shot was tipped in front by Dan Correale at 3:41 of the first period. The Storm played a physical style of game that seemed to take the Spruce Kings off their game. In the second period, the Storm came up with a breakaway that sent Jordan Forfar down the right side. The twenty year old played it smart and waited for a team mate to jump up into the play. The team mate was Dan Correale who fired the one-timer behind Kirk Thompson to give the Alberta Junior Hockey League team a 2-0 lead at 7:39 of the second period.
The Spruce Kings came out strong in the third period and established a dominate position on the Grande Prairie Storm that led to a number of penalties being taken by the Storm. With Derek Kramer in the penalty box, Riley Spraggs moved in hard to net. Although the shot was stopped, the rebound was found and buried by Kyle Manlow putting the Spruce Kings on the board and cutting the lead in half with nine minutes remaining.
The very next penalty to the Grande Prairie Storm was also cashed in on with Ben Woodley in the box. RJay Berra was able to come in off the left side wall and through traffic snuck a shot under the pads of Chase Komistek. With the game now tied 2-2, it was time for the Spruce Kings goaltender to shine and Ryan Benitez who had came in mid way through the second period continued to frustrate the Storm and was perfect for his time in net.
The tie leaves the Spruce Kings with a 1-1-1 record heading into their fourth preseason game on Saturday night against the Dawson Creek Rage of the North American Hockey League. With 28 players travelling with the team this weekend, it is expected that the eight who sat out Friday will be inserted into the lineup allowing the management and hockey operations staff to take a look at all of the players that remain with the squad heading into the last week before the start of the regular season.
The final game of the preseason schedule will take place Tuesday night at 7pm in the Prince George Coliseum when the Spruce Kings host the Dawson Creek Rage. Tickets for Tuesday night’s exhibition game will be available from the Spruce Kings office starting at 10am on Tuesday.