Friday, October 12, 2012

Spruce Kings win Battle Royale

Bryant Christian (11) scores his 3rd of the season
on this shot in the first minute of the second period

Bryant Christian and Justin Rai scored just over two minutes apart early in the second period as the Prince George Spruce Kings skated to a 2-1 win over the Powell River Kings at the Coliseum.

The Spruce Kings snapped a two-game losing streak and remain unbeaten in regulation on home ice so far this year.

Down 1-0 after 20 minutes, it didn't take the Spruce Kings long to get on the board in the second. Christian took a feed from Jake LeBrun and found the top corner over the shoulder of Kings goaltender Braeden Ostepchuk, just 56 seconds into the middle stanza.

Rai gave the Spruce Kings as lead they wouldn't relinquish at 3:02 when he rifled a shot from just inside the left face-off dot past Ostepchuk. Skyler Pacheco assisted on both Spruce Kings tallies.

The Spruce Kings had multiple chances to extend their lead, perhaps the best opportunity came off the stick of Liam Board. Jake LeBrun and Board had a two-on-one short-handed break midway through the second period. LeBrun elected to shoot and the rebound when right to Board, but he was unable to find the net with Ostepchuk out of position.

Shayne Morrisey, with a shot from the corner in the second period; Sean Landrey with a power-play shot and Pacheco, with a pair of power-play chances, also came close to adding to the Spruce Kings lead.

Ostepchuk, who is winless in three starts for the Kings, made 29 saves in a losing effort and kept the game from getting out of hand.

Kirk Thompson got the win in net for the Spruce Kings, making 15 saves. Jarryd Leung was the only man to beat Thompson, opening the scoring at 17:24 of the first period.

The win moves the Spruce Kings to 6-4-1-1 on the season and only a point back of idle Coquitlam for first place in the Mainland Division. The Kings fell to 4-7-0-2.

The Spruce Kings welcome their first Mainland Division opponent to the Castle on Saturday night as the Surrey Eagles (5-4-0-1) pay a visit. Prince George won the first battle between the two teams, scoring a 4-1 win in Surrey on Oct. 5.

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