Friday, October 23, 2015

Express Derailed



                      3                                          Final Score                                        2
Tilsley, Brubacher, Burnett
Goal Scorers
Hayward, Stout
Total Shots
1st Period Shots
2nd Period Shots
3rd Period Shots
3 for 6
Power Play
0 for 4

3rd Star
Owen Stout
Liam McCloskey
2nd Star

Adam Brubacher
1st Star

Current Record

The Spruce Kings sure like their wins to be nail biters. The last three wins have been one goal games, with the other team scoring in the final three minutes in all three to bring that score within one. That included Friday night’s win over the Coquitlam Express.

Kicking off the scoring was the away team though, as Blake Hayward cut down the right hand side, and roofed the puck over the shoulder of McCloskey for his first goal in the BCHL. Soon afterwards though Jack Surowiec took a penalty for high sticking, and Prince George would make no mistake. On a nice give-and-go play with Jake LeBrun, it was actually Cavin Tilsley passing the puck off for LeBrun to take the shot, but Tilsley picked up the rebound, and scored with 48 seconds remaining in the period to tie things at one.

In the second the Spruce Kings continued their dominance on the man advantage, scoring on their next two opportunities. First it was Corey Hoffman winning the puck back to Adam Brubacher who unleased a wicked slap shot past Lawson Fenton. Then it was Adam Burnett picking up a rebound, and knocking one home for his first BCHL goal, and giving his team a two goal lead.

Owen Stout would score with just under three minutes left in the third, but that’s as close as the Express would come, as the Spruce Kings pulled out the 3-2 victory. It was nearly 4-2, but Braiden Epp who had 15 points against the Express last season narrowly missed a sharp angled backhand into the empty net with just a few seconds remaining in the game.

Turning Point: 
Early in the third, Prince George went to their third penalty kill of the game. If Coquitlam had scored they would have had plenty of time to tie the game, but instead the Spruce Kings killed it off, and took the momentum forward. They were scored on later in the third, but could afford it after a pair of important kills.
Express first line, special teams, first home ice win

First Line Shut Down
First it was Adam Rockwood, Ryan Rosenthal, and Corey Mackin. Last year it was Brett Supinski, Brendan Lamont, and Corey Mackin. This season it’s Jackson Cressey, Colton Kerfoot, and Austin McIlmurray who make up the big three for the Express. Every year the top line for the Express seems to be one of the most potent in the league, and this year is no different with Kerfoot and Cressey both in the top 10 for scoring. Not one of them was able to break onto the scoresheet for the Express though, and that was a big part of the game for the Spruce Kings.

Special Teams Dominance
Heading into the game the Spruce Kings had scored seven goals on their last 17 man advantages. After having a power play that was running at a 5% success rate early in the season, that was huge for the team. With three goals in the matchup against Coquitlam, Prince George vaulted up from 13th in the BCHL for power play ranking, all the way to 7th overall. The penalty killed was superb as well, limiting the Express opportunities, and stopping all four Express man advantages. The PK didn’t move anywhere in the special teams rankings, and being 6% behind the team in front of them it will take some continued strong play to move up.

Home Sweet Home

The Spruce Kings finally have a win on home ice. They had one ‘home’ win heading into the game, but that was a 6-3 win over the Trail Smoke Eaters down at the BCHL showcase. The home crowd was strong in the game against Coquitlam, and with a win under their belt, the Spruce Kings should expect better turnouts with better results. 

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