Vernon Vipers forward Josh Latta (19) reaches for a loose puck in front of Prince George Spruce Kings goalie Logan Neaton during Game 3 of the B.C. Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup championship Tuesday at Kal Tire Place. (Roger Knox - Black Press)

Prince George on verge of first BC Hockey League title

Spruce Kings defeat Vernon Vipers 4-3 n OT; lead Fred Page Cup championship 3-0

Vancouver’s Poisson brothers reeled in a win for the Prince George Spruce Kings Tuesday.

Older brother Ben banged in a rebound from younger brother Nicholas past Vernon goalie Aidan Porter at 12:07 of sudden death overtime to give the Spruce Kings a 4-3 win over the Vipers in Game 3 of the B.C. Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup championship Tuesday at Kal Tire Place in Vernon.

Prince George now leads the best-of-seven final three games to none.

Game 4 is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Kal Tire Place. A Prince George win would clinch their first-ever BCHL championship. A Vernon win would send the series back to Prince George for Game 5 Friday.

Prince George is 3-0 in overtime games, Vernon drops to 4-2. The Spruce Kings have won 12 straight playoff games, are 15-1 in the post-season and a remarkable 24-2 since Feb. 1.

It’s only the second time in the 2019 playoffs that the Spruce Kings have given up more than two goals in a game (lost 3-0 with empty-net goal to Coquitlam in Game 4 of opening round, their only post-season defeat).

Four times the Spruce Kings took the lead in Game 3. You have to go back to Game 4 of the BCHL semifinal between Prince George and the Victoria Grizzlies to find the last time the Spruce Kings trailed in a game. A goal by Alex Newhook at 18:29 of the second period gave the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead. Prince George tied the game at 9:40 of the third and won it in overtime.

Nicholas Poisson, with his fourth of the playoffs, set up by brother Ben, snapped a 2-2 tie at 2:47 of the third period, and the Spruce Kings looked poised to win in regulation until Vernon forward Lane Zablocki scored his second of the night with a laser of a shot past Prince George goalie Logan Neaton at 17:40 to force overtime.

READ ALSO: Vernon Vipers fall to Prince George – again

Prince George opened the scoring Tuesday at 15:32 of the first period when Corey Cunningham scored his fifth of the playoffs past Porter.

The Vipers equalized 1:42 into the middle frame when Teddy Wooding knocked in a loose puck in front of Neaton for his fifth of the post-season.

Max Coyle restored the Prince George lead at 14:46 on a powerplay, his third of the playoffs, but the lead would last only three-and-a-half minutes as Zablocki ripped a shot off the post and in behind Neaton for his second of the playoffs at 18:27.

Porter finished with 21 saves while Neaton – who allowed more than two goals in a game for the first time this post-season – made 37 stops.

READ ALSO: Vipers fall to Prince George in game one

The BCHL champion will get an automatic berth to the National Junior A Hockey Championship (formerly RBC Cup) tournament in Brooks, Alta. May 11-19.

The host Brooks Bandits won the Alberta Junior Hockey League championship Tuesday, beating Spruce Grove 2-0 to sweep the Saints in the best-of-seven series.

Brooks’ win means the BCHL winner will get a spot in the national championship. The two teams will play the best-of-seven Doyle Cup as a tune-up for the Canadian finals starting April 26 in Brooks.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Parksville pedestrian airlifted to hospital in Vancouver after nighttime collision

Police report man’s injuries were ‘significant’ but not life-threatening

Discussion on importance of Orange Shirt Day set for Parksville Museum

Annishnawbeg Nation elder Samuel Stevens to lead talks

Parksville Generals face Nanaimo Buccaneers to open VIJHL season

Fans not permitted inside arenas due to COVID-19 restrictions

No extra help for Qualicum school district’s courtesy bus riders

RDN unable to adjust routes ‘in any meaningful way’

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Most Read