|Mitch Eden (27) had a strong game defensively and|
scored twice including the game winner last night
In every series last night the home team took the one game lead with their home ice advantage. The Prince George Spruce Kings held the Coquitlam Express back posting a 3-2 game one victory but it may have come at a cost.
Spruce Kings forward and captain, Bryant Christian is questionable to start the game tonight after leaving late in the opening period with an undisclosed injury. Despite being down their captain and also missing the team’s leading scorer for a good portion of the first and second periods due to an equipment issue, the rest of the team rallied for the win.
Never trailing in the game, the Spruce Kings opened the scoring five minutes in when Matt Painchaud found a loose puck in the blue paint that had squeezed through the pads of Gordie Defiel and only needed to be tapped in. Mitch Eden made it a 2-0 game with his first of the game.
Just seconds prior the Coquitlam Express came to within a goal post of tying the game after Zach Hodder rang the puck off the base of the far side post. The rebound off the iron came out for the Spruce Kings to start their transition up the ice. Cole Todd ended up spotting Eden following up on the play who faked his original shot and then slid his first of the post season just inside the post.
The Coquitlam Express would get that one back to make it a 2-1 game after the first period. With already some huge saves for the visitors, Defiel kept his team in it through the second period as did Alex Murray at the other end. The second period ended as it had began with the Prince George Spruce Kings leading 2-1.
In the third period Mitch Eden would get his second of the game with a blast from the right side of the high slot that sailed through everybody untouched at 7:11. Again the Express would get that one back when Joey Santucci got the perfect tip off a waist high point shot sending the puck past Murray with exactly four minutes remaining in regulation time.
The Express would get a late powerplay and would pull Defiel with just over a minute remaining, but could not get a shot on goal to count. The Express showed their relentless attack last night and it should be expected to be in full force again tonight as the visitors look for the split and to take home ice advantage back with them to Coquitlam for Games Three and Four on Friday and Saturday night.
Elsewhere around the BCHL, all of the home teams posted game one victories. The Langley Rivermen had to come from behind in the second period to win the game 4-2 in the other BCHL Mainland Division Semi-Final.
Tonight's game will be broadcast live on 99.3 the Drive and will also be available from online (click here). The game will also be available from its usual links for the pay-per-view feed on Fasthockey.com. Although the Spruce Kings Mixlr Channel will also carry the game it is recommended to listen to 99.3 the Drive with its full feature broadcast beginning with the pregame show at 6:45pm with Allan Bristowe, Thomas Bohmer and Ron Gallo.