Saturday, September 14, 2013

Shots, Shots, Shots

The Prince George Spruce Kings couldn't convert shots into goals on Saturday night, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Chilliwack Chiefs in overtime at the Coliseum.

Veteran defenceman Kiefer McNaughton got the game winner just 55 seconds into the four-on-four extra session blasting a point shot into the top corner and past Spruce Kings goaltender Alex Murray. McNaugton, who began his BCHL career with Quesnel Millionaires, was in on both Chiefs goals as Chillwack earned its first win of the young season.

The Spruce Kings still came out of the weekend with three points after defeating the Chiefs 7-1 on Friday night.

Despite outshooting the Chiefs 43-22, the Spruce Kings weren't able to light lamp often enough to get the win on Saturday.

The Chiefs limited the number of second-chance opportunities the Spruce Kings had and Prince George didn't generate the same amount of traffic in front of Chiefs goalie Lyndon Stanwood as they did on Friday night.

The Spruce Kings got into penalty trouble in the second half of the game but the penalty killing unit did its job and then some, negating eight Chilliwack power-play opportunities.

With the game knotted at one goal apiece, the Chiefs did generate some good chances in the third, but Murray was up to the task. His biggest stop came midway through the period when he kicked out his pad to deny Jacob Hand from point-blank range. Chiefs defenceman Carter Cochrane opened the scoring at 16:55 of the first when he banged home a rebound of a McNaughton shot while the Chiefs had an extra attacker on due to a pair of delayed penalties against the Spruce Kings. The goal came on just the Chiefs third shot of the opening period.

The Spruce Kings drew even at 17:58 of the second on Bryant Christian's first goal of the year. Christian drove hard to the net and re-directed a beautiful feed from Brent Lashuk into the back of the net.

Austin Plevy had a bevy of chances for the Chiefs. The team's leading scorer from last season appeared poised to take a feed in the slot in the first, but a great backchecking effort by Mitch Eden spoiled that opportunity.

Plevy broke in a breakaway in the second, but Alex Murray waited him out and made a nice save to keep the Spruce Kings within on at the time.

His best chances came in the final minute of the third when Karan Toor and Skylar Pacheco both cleared the puck off the goal line after it got past Murray.

Stanwood had a busy weekend, the Spruce Kings directed 53 shots his way in Friday night's 7-1 win and his effort Saturday earned him first star honours.

Toor was named the game's second star and Christian garnered the third star award. Spruce Kings forward Sean Landrey was named the FortisBC Energy player of the game.

The Spruce Kings are back on home ice next weekend with Penticton visiting the castle on Friday night and Trail making the trip north on Saturday.

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