|Kirk Thompson making one of his 32 saves on the night|
The Prince George Spruce Kings knocked off the defending RBC Cup champions Saturday night, defeating the Penticton Vees 4-2 at the Coliseum.
The Spruce Kings, who have secured points in each of their first four games, now sit a top the Mainland Division standings with a 3-0-0-1 record.
Prince George came out like gangbusters early on and had the Vees on their heels for most of the first period, but Penticton battled back as the game went on. Kirk Thompson had a great night between the pipes, making 32 saves — including 16 in the third period alone — to secure his third straight win.
The Spruce Kings opened the scoring in the first as Liam Board's centering attempt when off a skate and past Vees starter Nic Renyard at 14:02. The goal came at the tail end of a four-minute high sticking penalty to Vees forward Wade Murphy.
Chad Staley doubled the advantage with a goal late in the first period set up by Jeremiah Luedtke and just like in Friday's game against Trail the Spruce Kings led 2-0 after 20 minutes.
The Vees started to find their legs in the second period, which is when Thompson also began to steal the show. The Prince George goalie only faced five shots in the first period but saw a lot more rubber as the game went on. He was called upon to make a number of big saves to keep the Spruce Kings ahead and managed to hold the Vees off the scoreboard until the third period.
Penticton did finally solve Thompson at 10:48 of the final stanza. The Vees executed a three-on-two break to perfection as Brad McClure buried the rebound off a Cody DePourcq shot to cut the lead to one.
The Spruce Kings re-gained the two-goal lead with another power-play marker. Brad Ryan ripped a shot from the point past Renyard as Prince George finished the night two-for-six with the man advantage. Renyard made 21 saves in his first start of the season.
Penticton wouldn't go away easily as Murphy picked up the puck in the high slot off a broken play with just over four minutes to play and wired a shot off the cross bar and in past Thompson.
The Vees had a chance to tie the game when Coltyn Hansen was whistled for roughing with under two minutes to play. Not only did the Spruce Kings kill off their fifth penalty of the game, Tyson Witala iced the game with an empty-net goal. He lofted the puck from around the face-off dot in his own end and got nothing but net.
With seven points the Spruce Kings jumped over idle Coquitlam (3-0-0-0) for first in the Mainland division. Chilliwack is third (2-1-0-1) followed by Surrey (2-2-0-0) and Langley (1-1-0-1).
The Spruce Kings are back on home ice on Saturday night when the Merritt Centennials visit the Castle. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.