Spruce Kings tighten grip on first place in divi­sion

The Prince George Citizen - - News - Ci­ti­zen staff

Dustin Manz turned the trick, nat­u­rally, and the Prince Ge­orge Spruce Kings now have some breath­ing room on top of the B.C. Hockey League’s Main­land Divi­sion.

Manz, an 18-year-old na­tive of Van­der­bilt, Mich., scored three unan­swered goals in the third pe­riod to cap off a 5-1 vic­tory over the Chilli­wack Chiefs in front of a crowd of 2,239 Sun­day af­ter­noon in Chilli­wack.

The win moved the Spruce Kings (25-154-4) three points ahead of the sec­ond-place Sur­rey Ea­gles and four ahead of the third­place Lan­g­ley River­men. Chilli­wack (22-192-3) re­mained fourth in the Main­land, nine points back of the Spruce Kings, who have 58 points in 47 games.

Ben Brar and Ben Pois­son, with a short- handed goal 7:43 into the first pe­riod, staked the Spruce King to an early 2-0 lead, chas­ing goalie Mathieu

Caron to the bench af­ter he al­lowed two goals on four shots. An­thony Vin­cent got the Chiefs on the score­board with an unas­sisted goal 15:10 into the first pe­riod.

Af­ter a score­less sec­ond pe­riod, Manz scored his first of the game 1:45 into the third pe­riod and made it a 4-1 game at the 7:46 mark. The Lake Su­pe­rior State Uni­ver­sity re­cruit for 2019-20 scored his hat-trick goal into an empty net.

Goalie Evan DeBrouwer was sharp from start to fin­ish, mak­ing 31 saves for his 20th win of the sea­son. DeBrouwer, a na­tive of Blen­heim, Ont., now sports a 2.30 goal­sagainst av­er­age, third-best in the BCHL. The Kings were out­shot by the Chiefs 32-23.

Cooper shuts door on Ex­press

Play­ing sec­ond fid­dle on the goal­tend­ing depth chart be­hind DeBrouwer, 18-yearold Bradley Cooper hasn’t been get­ting a lot of game ac­tion as a rookie with the Spruce Kings.

If he keeps play­ing like he did Satur­day in a 3-0 shutout win over the Co­quit­lam Ex­press, Cooper is go­ing to give head coach Adam Maglio a few sleep­less nights won­der­ing which goalie to start.

In his first game since Jan. 7, Cooper made 29 saves to earn his sec­ond BCHL shutout. That win moved the Spruce Kings back into sole pos­ses­sion of first place in the Main­land Divi­sion.

Brar opened the scor­ing 16 sec­onds into the sec­ond pe­riod in Co­quit­lam, Pois­son added an­other tally 17:55 into the third pe­riod and Ethan de Jong sealed it with an empty-net­ter.

The Spruce Kings started their trip with a 4-1 loss in Lan­g­ley.

The Spruce Kings, who have 11 game left in the reg­u­lar sea­son, host the Chiefs in a two-game set Fri­day and Satur­day at Rolling Mix Con­crete Arena.

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