|The scene after Bryant Christian goes hard to the net|
The Prince George Spruce Kings came up empty Friday night suffering a 2-0 loss to the Penticton Vees. Two more cross bars tonight was as close as the boys would come despite outshooting the home team by a 23-22 margin.
On the very first shift of the game, the Spruce Kings showed some jump and surprised the Penticton Vees with an early chance off the stick of Chad Staley. One shift later Brad McClure put the Penticton Vees on the board when he busted up the right wall, cut to the slot and pulled a forehand backhand deke on Jesse Jenks to open the scoring.
In the loss there was plenty of positives to draw and keep the optimism had a half full level. The Spruce Kings did give up four powerplay opportunities to the League's best special teams unit. In the first two penalty kills, the Spruce Kings not only kept the Vees off the scoreboard but also kept them off the shot clock as well.
On the Vees third powerplay, McClure took matters into his own hands registering three shots on goal and setting up two other scoring chances for Penticton that Jenks denied. The young netminder for Prince George did everything he could in the loss and had to come up with his biggest save of the game while the team in front of him was on their third man advantage. Sprung on a clear cut breakaway from centre, Max Coatta went straight down the slot only to be denied by the glove of Jenks.
The Vees would turn two more shorthanded chances on the same penalty kill and on that third chance, Cody DePourcq would be sprung from the left side and fire a shot shortside that squeezed through to make it a 2-0 game. The Prince George Spruce Kings went 0 for 5 on the man advantage and would also come up empty late in the game when they pulled the goaltender for a 6-on-5.
Late in the final period, Bryant Christian would get a great opportunity as he sped down the right wing, made a cut for the net from the half wall and was able to get a shot on goal before running over the netminder. The puck would cross the goal line but after the whistle had sounded for the goaltender interference call for the captain.
The Spruce Kings continue to struggle to find goals and have only scored once without Brent Lashuk and Jake LeBrun in the lineup. Tomorrow night won't be an easy one either as the number one team in the Interior Division, the West Kelowna Warriors await the arrival of Prince George. The Warriors have 19 points and a share of top spot in the BCHL with the Powell River Kings.
Game time Saturday is 7pm from the Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna.