Westside came into the Castle having lost nine of their past 10. The Spruce Kings came in having lost their past three. After it was all said and done, Westside would skate away with the Win. The Warriors had an abysmal November, losing eight of nine. They started off December with a loss, but tonight, they were not going to lay down and die. The Spruce Kings didn't have as long of a losing streak, but losing three games in a row by 1 goal, isn't fun. It's a streak that continued tonight, as they dropped a 3-2 decision to Westside. It was a very entertaining game, but only one team skated away smiling.
The Break Down:
The first started off as most do, back and forth puck movement, a few chances, but no real scoring opportunities. But at the 8:48 mark, the Spruce Kings top line struck again, as Michael Colantone fired a wrister top corner on Dwayne Rodrigue to open the scoring. Ben Woodley and Paul De Jersey add the assists on the goal. The Warriors didn’t take long to tie the game up, as they took advantage off a miscue by the Spruce Kings defender and tied the game up. Brett Mckinnon was left alone out front, took a feed and one timed it past Kirk Thompson. That's where things left off heading into the intermission.
The second period would prove to be the eventual difference maker as the Warriors would score 2 goals just over a minute apart. Max French would start it off by sending a puck on net from the top of the right circle that fooled Thompson. The Prince George net minder reached out for it, and just plain missed it. Then 1:04 later, Richard Vanderhoek took a pass on a two on one and scored on a wide open net. It was a quick turn around for the Warriors of Westside, and it would prove to be too much to over come
The Spruce Kings would apply a ton of pressure in the third, thanks in large part to the a five minute power play handed to them after Garrett Skrbich was sent to the showers early for charging Kirk Thompson. Thompson would lay on the ice for a moment, before getting up under his own power to stay in the game. Jujhar Khaira would make them pay quickly, just 8 seconds into the major, he fired a shot from the top of the right circle that found it's way past Rodrigue. It was a quick strike, that gave hope to the Prince George faithful going forward with seven minutes to go. One of the turning points in the game would come during the five minute power play, when the Spruce Kings were called for too many men on the ice. It still left them with time to work with, but it essentially killed off the momentum that they had just gained.
The Spruce Kings would press, but Rodrigue held down the fort, and helped his team skate to a 3-2 victory. Rodrigue made 22 saves in the game, taking home the “W”. Thompson would be given the loss, as he made 25 saves in defeat.
The game was a very good one, but ultimately it ends up being yet another 1 goal loss for the Spruce Kings. This was Prince George's fourth 1 goal game in a row that they end up on the wrong side of. It's a tough pill to swallow, and one that leaves Coach Dave Dumas and his squad wondering what they have to do to end up on the right side of things. There were a couple of different turning points for me in tonight’s contest. One came in the second period, during Prince George's first power play. Jujhar Khaira made a backdoor feed to Paul De Jersey who had a good amount of net to look at. Rodrigue though was not wiling to let up easy, as he slip across his crease and made a split leg toe save. It was a save that may not have been noticed by many, but at the time, it kept the game all tied up. The other turning point for me came during the Max French 2-1 goal. It was a shot that Thompson should have saved, and one he would make if given another try. But unfortunately, these things happen, he missed the puck and gave all the momentum to Westside going forward.
To read the full box score and get a recap in scoring from tonight, click here
The Three Stars:
3)(WW) Richard Vanderhoek – 1 Goal, GWG
2)(PG) Gerry Fitzgerald
1)(WW) Max French – 1 Goal
These two teams will battle once again at the Coliseum tomorrow afternoon. This game becomes eve bigger for the Spruce Kings, as they hope to re-establish their 6 point lead on the Warriors in the standings. Tonight’s game was a good one, so be sure not to miss the rematch tomorrow as the puck drops at 3pm