Monday, March 5, 2012

Returning Home

During this most recent three game weekend road trip the Prince George Spruce Kings secured a berth to the playoffs following Friday night’s 6-1 win over the Trail Smoke Eaters. One night later the Spruce Kings completed a season series sweep of the Smokies with a 4-3 double overtime decision. The weekend didn’t finish as well for Prince George when they played their final road game of the season in Vernon, losing 7-3 to the three time defending League Champions, the Vernon Vipers.

On Friday night the team got scoring from six different players and a solid goaltending performance from Ty Swabb who missed out on his first BCHL career shutout with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Gerry Fitzgerald opened the scoring in the second period and that was followed up by three consecutive power play goals from Chase Golightly, Michael Colantone and Jujhar Khaira. Myles Fitzgerald rounded out a five goal second period leaving Zack Rassell to score the loan PG goal in the third period.

Myles Fitzgerald scores the overtime winner in Trail
while being hooked down (photo courtesy Randy Emery)

On Saturday night the Spruce Kings had to work from a deficit the entire night trailing 2-0 and 3-1 before mounting a third period comeback that forced overtime and a 4-3 win. Behind a pair in the second period, Prince George got on the board with a power play goal from Jarryd Ten Vaanholt. Down a pair again and this time shorthanded, Michael Colantone was turned loose with the puck and made it a 3-2 game.

That goal allowed the Fitzgerald triplets to play the role of hero when Gerry Fitzgerald found a loose puck on the power play and netted the tying goal. It took until the second overtime before Leo Fitzgerald could find his brother Myles, sending him in on a partial breakaway, who made no mistake faking backhand before pulling it to the forehand and sliding it under the glove of the netminder.

The game Sunday afternoon in Vernon didn’t start well for the Spruce Kings as they found themselves in a 5-0 hole at the end of the first period. The final score was 7-3 as they could never get closer than a four goal deficit even with some special teams success to their credit in the game. Jarryd Ten Vaanholt was the first to score for the visitors, doing so while the team was shorthanded. The next two Spruce Kings goals were both scored on the powerplay from Gerry Fitzgerald in the second period and then Tyson Witala late in the third period.

The Spruce Kings return home where they will host a double header against the best team in Canada, the Penticton Vees are currently boasting a 40 game consecutive winning streak. The games will feature opportunities for fans to win groceries for a year from Save On Foods as well as a Truck from Northland Chrysler on both nights.

With the Spruce Kings returning to the playoffs, their game broadcasts are also returning to 93.1 CFIS-FM for both the home and road games.

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