Thursday, December 1, 2011

An Unfortunate End Halts An Entertaining Game

Tonight, Prince George got to witness a great hockey game. Unfortunately, they also got to witness a weird ending that slowed the game right down. All night these two teams battled back and forth, exchanging chances and hits. It was a match up of two very evenly ranked teams, and it looked like we would need an extra frame to decide things. As it turned out, we wouldn't end up seeing overtime, but we would see the game end in controversy. With that in mind, let's recap tonight's 3-2 loss to the Chilliwack Chiefs.

The Breakdown:

The first period started out with a bang for the Chiefs, as their leading scorer David Bondra intercepted a pass, moved in and fired a shot pasta slightly screened Kirk Thompson. The goal came at 3:13 mark, and quickly showed that the Chiefs had no bus rust from he trip to Prince George. The Spruce Kings were not prepared to lay down that earlier though, as Michael Colantone took a nice pass from Jujhar Khaira, and scored on a brief breakaway attempt at the 7:19 mark. Prince George would follow that up with a power play goal from Tyson Witala at the 16:20 mark. They would take that 2-1 lead into the break.

The first half of the second period was all Prince George, as they were firing all sorts of shots on Mitch Gillam. Prince George would get a few more power play opportunities, but couldn't put another puck past the Chiefs goaltender. Chilliwack would reward there goaltenders fine play with a tally, as David Thompson got a lucky bounce off of Ben Woodley's leg and tied the game up at 2. Derek Huisman would get the only assist on the play as Chilliwack snatched back the momentum that Prince George was seeming to carry into the intermission with. The Spruce Kings had all sorts of chances, but not burying them in the second would prove to be a huge difference maker.

The third period was more of the same from these two talented squads. Back and forth action, big hits, and nice scoring chances. The eventual game winner came at the 11:40 mark as Trevor Hills threw a puck on net from the corner, and ended up beating Thompson. The goal didn't come without some controversy though, as Thompson appeared to have it squeezed against the post, the referring looked as though he was going to signal it dead, then the goal light came on. The Spruce Kings argued the call, but it was to no avail as the tally would count. The game would end with that score, but not before some more controversy and rough stuff over flowed onto the ice.

As time was winding down Paul De Jersey seemed to be jumped behind the play by David Thompson. Thompson stood over a turtled De Jersey and tried to pound on him before the ref jumped in. Colantone ended up without his gloves on after the brief scrum, both teams exchanged words, and then it was up to the referees to decide what would happen next. As it turned out, they decided to give most roughing minors, and tossed Ben Woodley for unsportsmanlike conduct. So with just 14 seconds left, the Spruce Kings were forced deep into their own zone, making it too much to over come. It was a weird scenario considering De Jersey was the one who was being held down and punched. The newly crowned Captain Ben Matthews didn't let the game end without sticking up for his teammates. He would dropped the gloves with Shay Laurent, dropping him in the process with a right to the nose, essentially giving his team a small piece of gratification to go home with. Gillam would get the win, making 33 saves in the 3-2 victory for the Chiefs.

It was an unfortunate end to what was a great hockey game. Prince George had their chances to win, but ultimately couldn't solve Gillam after the first period.

To read the full box score and recap of tonight's game, click here

The Three Stars:

3)(PG) Tyson Witala – 1 Goal
2)(CHW)David Bondra -1 Goal, 1 Assist
1)(CHW)Mitch Gillam – 33 Saves

Next Up:

The Spruce Kings will head into the weekend having lost 3 in a row. They will have another chance though to set the tone going forward as they host the Westside Warriors on Saturday and Sunday
Saturday the puck drops at 7pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Once again, both games will take place at the Castle.

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