|Danny Kiraly (5) finishes the two-on-one|
The Prince George Spruce Kings first crowded the net, then filled it on Friday night as they defeated the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs 7-1 at the Coliseum.
Making the most of offensive chances was key to the Spruce Kings' game plan coming into Friday night's home opener and the trick seemed to be getting as many bodies as possible in front of Chiefs starter Lyndon Stanwood.
That was certainly the case in the decisive second period as all three of the Spruce Kings goals in the middle stanza came with Stanwood's crease crowded.
Jake LeBrun gave Prince George a lead it would never relinquish at 3:11 of the second when his shot from the high slot beat Stanwood. Brent Lashuk and Mitch Eden picked up the assists, but it was Bryant Christian in front who provided the screen. Christian even waved his stick at the puck as if to tip it and that may have distracted Stanwood enough to allow LeBrun's shot through.
There was even more chaos in front of the Chiefs net when Lashuk made it 3-1 at 14:32 of the second. Stanwood was laying on his back after getting knocked down by a pile of players battling for position in front of the blue paint. Lashuk found the loose puck and lifted it over Stanwood while the Chiefs' bench protested for a goaltender inference penalty. None was forthcoming and instead the head coach, Harvey Smyle was given a game misconduct. Mitch Eden and Bryant Christian were awarded the helpers on the Lashuk goal.
Caleb Thompson put a dagger through the Chiefs' chances at 16:39 of the second when his seeing-eye point shot found its way through the traffic out front and past Stanwood. The power-play tally was assisted by Riley Hawes and Christian Weidauer.
Into the third, LeBrun added another insurance marker at 7:55 when he was left alone in the slot and fired one past Stanwood. Lashuk had the lone assist, his third point of the night.
LeBrun could have had even more if the pesky posts would have gotten out of the way. He clanked shots off the iron in the first and second periods.
Defenceman Danny Kiraly added to the onslaught at 14:14 of the third, converting a feed from Justin Rai on a two-on-one break. Thompson set up the rush and picked up another assist.
And to prove things were just really going the Spruce Kings way, a Skylar Pacheco dump-in attempt found its way in for the Spruce Kings seventh goal of the night at 17:53 unassisted.
Wideauer also had a multiple-point night, picking up an assist in the first to go along with his second period helper. He maintained the early season team scoring lead with six - one goal, five assists - in three games. His first helper came just 1:21 into the game when he helped set up Justin Rai's game-opening goal. Chad Staley picked up the other assist.
Jaret Babych tied the score before the first period was out, taking a feed from Austin Plevy and beating Spruce Kings goalie Alex Murray.
Traffic in the crease wasn't the only key to the Spruce Kings offensive success Friday, they also directed plenty of rubber Stanwood's way even when the goalie had clear sight lines.
The home side held the edge on the shot counter every period and finished the night with 53 shots to Chilliwack's 19. The two teams meet again on Saturday night at the Coliseum, game time is 7 p.m.
Blog written by Peter James