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

Alberni Valley fire departments hold car wash to raise funds for Wounded Warriors Run

Come out Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to learn more about the run

67th year for Port Alberni’s men’s open bonspiel

Public is welcome to cheer on teams throughout the weekend

Alberni Valley residents vent anger over proposed Beaver Creek cannabis project

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District grapples with limited authority to restrict operations

Paper Excellence, owner of Crofton mill, hit by malware

Paper production in Crofton, and other mills, impacted by incident

B.C. NDP’s throne speech speaks of benefits to B.C., says MLA Scott Fraser

Fraser agrees to meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs over pipeline

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Most Read