Friday, February 15, 2013

Lawson Lights Up Rivermen

Cameron Lawson (7) scored the game winner and then some
in a Spruce Kings 6-3 win over Langley Friday night

Cameron Lawson showed off his playmaking pedigree in the first period and his goal scoring ability in the final 40 minutes collecting five points in a 6-3 Prince George Spruce Kings win over the Langley Rivermen.

Lawson assisted on the first two Spruce Kings goals, then collected a hat trick over the final two periods to bring his goal total to 20 on the year.

An easy choice as the Treasure Cove Casino first star of the game, Lawson's nicest goal was his first at 18:14 of the second period. Breaking in a on 2-on-1, Lawson looked like he might dish the puck off to Bryant Christian but instead found a few inches of space to the short side of Langley goaltender Darren Hogg to give the Spruce Kings a 3-0 lead. Trevor Esau and Jace Hennig picked up the assists.

With a 3-0 lead after two periods, the Spruce Kings looked to be in full control of the contest, but the Rivermen came on strong in the third and gave the home side reason to worry. First it was Jakob Reichert on the power play at 1:36 who spoiled Kirk Thompson's shutout bid. Assists went to James Robinson and Mario Puskarich.

Lawson gave the Spruce Kings their three-goal lead right back at 4:01, banging home a power-play rebound at the side of the net. Chad Staley and Bryant Christian got the helpers.

Just 37 seconds later Puskarich, who had a hat trick in a 6-3 Langley win on Thursday night, got the Rivermen right back in it with help from Evan Campbell and Matt Ustaski.

Campbell then made it a one-goal game at 12:10, finishing off a play after the Rivermen had been buzzing around the Spruce Kings net and Thompson had been doing his best Dominik Hasek impression trying to keep the puck out.

Langley kept the pressure up and a series of Prince George turnovers gave the home side grief, but the Rivermen were unable to beat Thompson again. The Spruce Kings goalie finished with 39 saves - 19 of those coming in the final stanza.

Shayne Morrissey, the Dairy Queen player of the game, gave the Spruce Kings some breathing room with his second of the night on the power play at 18:07 assisted by second star Coltyn Hansen and Skylar Pacheco. Lawson iced the game at 19:20 with a short-handed tally into the empty net after a nice give and go with Hansen. Third star Mark Begert also got an assist.

After having fallen behind 3-0 in the first period against Langley for the fourth time this year on Thursday night, the Spruce Kings came out flying on Friday.

Morrissey opened the scoring on the power play at 18:07, going short side on Hogg. Lawson and Pacheco got the assists.

The three Spruce Kings power play goals were a big confidence boost to the beleaguered unit which had been struggling in recent weeks and had dropped to 15th in the BCHL.

Lawson set up the second goal at 14:59 on a 3-on-2. Christian went hard to the net, drawing the attention of the Rivermen defenders and Hogg, but that left the trailer Hennig open. He took Lawson's pass and buried it, with the FortisBC Energy player of the game Trevor Esau also picking up an assist.

With the weekend split, the Spruce Kings move eight points up on the Rivermen in the race for third in the Mainland Division, but Prince George still trails second-place Chilliwack by six points.

The Spruce Kings hit the road for the final time in the regular season next weekend for games in Coquitlam on Friday, Chilliwack on Saturday and Coquitlam on Sunday.

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