Saturday, October 24, 2015

Express Make It Split


                      1                                         Final Score                                       1
Goal Scorers
McIlmurray, Cressey
Total Shots
1st Period Shots
2nd Period Shots
3rd Period Shots
0 for 4
Power Play
2 for 4

3rd Star
Lawson Fenton
Corey Hoffman
2nd Star

1st Star
Jackson Cressey

Current Record

Instead of being four points away from a playoff spot, the Prince George Spruce Kings are now eight. That’s why divisional games are so important. The Coquitlam Express squeaked out a 2-1 win over the Prince George, in what was a total of events compared to the following night.

Friday night the top line of Coquitlam was shutout, but the hope of Prince George repeating that would be dashed quickly. While on the power play, Austin McIlmurray scored on a rebound, with the assists going to Jackson Cressey and Colten Kerfoot. At the halfway mark of the third, Kyle Johnson made a nice play at the blue line to intercept the puck, and pass it over the Hoffman who went uncontested to the slot to snipe it past Fenton to tie the game at one.

With exactly a minute left though in the second, it was once again Coquitlam pouncing while on the power play. Jackson Cressey was just able to poke the puck over the line, and the refs had to talk with the goal judge about it, but they did wind up awarding the goal to Coquitlam.

Between goals though in the second, things were pretty ugly for the Spruce Kings. Cavin Tilsley took a hard hit from behind, and went into the boards where he crumpled to the ice and remained down for a few minutes. Adam Burnett and Braiden Epp wound up helping their young teammate off the ice. Tilsley would not return to the game.
Minutes later Matt Stief took a high stick to the mouth that went undetected, and he was went down, although for a brief time. He would miss the rest of the second, but return to play in the third period. That was vital, as the Spruce Kings were playing the game with just five defenders.

In the third the Spruce Kings couldn’t beat Fenton despite firing 13 shots in the frame. They came close though, as Adam Brubacher unleashed a late slap shot that he thought beat the goalie, and went in and out, but the refs said that it hit the post and came out.

Turning Point:
The hard hit on the Spruce led to a downhill tumble, Stief went down as well, and then the Spruce Kings allowed the late goal. The team got very frustrated with the refing, and that may have led to some distractions in the third.

Even Strength Goals
In their last three games, the Spruce Kings have now scored 6 goals, but only two of those have come while at even strength. The power play has improved vastly for the Spruce Kings lately, but they can’t rely on that every game, as some nights it will be off, like it was on Saturday going 0 for 4.

Special Teams Downfall
On Friday night it was special teams that won the game for Prince George. On Saturday night it was their Achilles heel. The team had four full power plays to work with, but couldn’t convert on a single one, and certainly couldn’t sustain the zone the same way they did the previous night. Like the Spruce Kings did Friday night, Coquitlam scored all of their goals on Saturday on the power play. The PP was 2 for 4 Saturday night for Coquitlam, compared to 0 for 4 the night before, and that was the difference in the end. 

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