Friday, September 20, 2013

David vs Goliath

Jesse Jenks posted his first BCHL winning after making
36 saves in the Spruce Kings 4-3 win over Penticton

For the third time in as many games played in the Castle, the Spruce Kings did the improbable and posted a regulation time win over the Penticton Vees. Coming into the game with a perfect record of 4 and 0, the Vees boosted an enviable roster that has NCAA schools chomping at the bit to get players from Penticton into their own stables. But on this night it was the Clydesdales of Prince George that showed their ability to play the game.

Despite some stellar saves from the rookie goaltender, Jesse Jenks and the Spruce Kings found themselves down 1-0 early to the visiting Penticton Vees. After a bit of bad luck bounce that came on the same play that saw Jenks make two great saves, the puck was poked in behind the 18 year old netminder at 6:16 of the first period.

The Spruce Kings mounted their own offensive push after this and with the aid of the BCHL timeout, were able to get their first goal when Jake LeBrun scored his first of three on the night. Following up on a play started by Bryant Christian, LeBrun went hard to the net with his stick on the ice and feathered the puck through a tangle of legs.

With the game tied 1-1, the Spruce Kings went on the powerplay and made short order of their man advantage. With a D-to-D pass, Caleb Thompson fed Christian Weidauer the pass who fired a shot in. Chad Staley was right there to find the big rebound and bury his first of the season to give the Spruce Kings a 2-1 lead late in the first period.

Before the first was over, the Spruce Kings went up two goals with LeBrun’s second off another loose puck in the blue paint that squeaked over the goal line. Weidauer and Christian were given the assists on the play. The goal itself, scored in the last minute of play, was the direct result of the Spruce Kings feeding off the energy created by the fans in attendance.

In the second period, the Penticton Vees made some adjustments that minimized the Spruce Kings shots and chances. A powerplay goal by the visitors made this a one-goal game with the Vees building momentum. A late penalty in the second period, that carried over into the third, saw the Penticton Vees build even more momentum.

Immediately after killing off that penalty, the Spruce Kings found themselves penalized again, but this time it was a five minute major to Cole Todd. To compound the issue, Skylar Pacheco was given a two minute minor giving the Penticton Vees a full two minutes to work with the two man advantage. When it looked like the Spruce Kings were going to kill it off, a long range shot found its way through everybody to tie the game 3-3.

Jake LeBrun would become the hero on the night scoring his third of the game, a powerplay goal at 12:25 of the third that would stand up to be the eventual game winner. LeBrun earned first star honours for his effort and shot up in to the top twenty among League scoring and second in the League for the most goals scored with 6. Jesse Jenks was given second star honours for his stellar play between the pipes and certainly can't be faulted for any of the three goals that did get behind him.

Bryant Christian earned the FortisBC Energy Player of the Game for his consistent play. Missing in the accolades was Christian Weidauer despite setting three of the goals on the night and playing a solid game on the blue line.

The Spruce Kings will now get set to take on the Trail Smoke Eaters Saturday night at 7pm in the Castle.

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