SPRUCE KINGS MOVE UP IN BCHL STAND­INGS

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Ted CLARKE Ci­ti­zen staff [email protected]­i­t­i­zen.ca

Ben Pois­son’s lead­er­ship qual­i­ties made him an ob­vi­ous choice as cap­tain of the Prince Ge­orge Spruce Kings.

Satur­day night at Rolling Mix Con­crete Arena the 20-year-old cen­tre let his ac­tions speak louder than words.

Pois­son gained the puck on the right wing side of the ice and let go a wrist shot that found the net be­hind Pen­tic­ton Vees goalie Derek Krall. Pois­son’s sec­ond goal of the game and eighth of the sea­son, 1:46 into over­time, gave the Kings a 3-2 vic­tory which moved them back into sec­ond place in the B.C. Hockey League’s Main­land Di­vi­sion.

They started the week­end with a 2-1 win over the vis­it­ing Al­berni Val­ley Bull­dogs.

“Af­ter los­ing kind of a tough game on Sun­day (in Sal­mon Arm) we needed to have a good week­end to kick off the home­s­tand the right way – es­pe­cially with how tight our di­vi­sion is this year, we need all the points we can get,” said Pois­son, a Univer­sity of Maine re­cruit for 2019-20.

Pois­son’s first of the night 6:44 into the third pe­riod gave the Kings a 2-1 lead, which lasted only about a minute. James Miller tied it for the Vees at the 8:10 mark on a Pen­tic­ton power play.

Ryan San­delin staked the Vees to a 1-0 lead with the only goal of the first pe­riod. Ben Brar evened the count in the sec­ond pe­riod with his team-lead­ing 16th of the sea­son, and also as­sisted on Pois­son’s goal in the third pe­riod. Kings winger Patrick Cozzi picked up two as­sists.

Shots were 26-19 in favour of the Kings. Lo­gan Neaton im­proved his record to 11-3-0.

“It was a re­ally good game over­all – both teams pre­pared well and both teams played re­ally good games, it just ended up go­ing to over­time be­cause we were so well-matched,” said Pois­son, whose team beat the Vees 3-2 at the BCHL Show­case in Chilli­wack in Septem­ber. “It was a one-goal game or tied for the most part and we were able to roll four lines and play ev­ery­one. Ev­ery­one got into it on both teams and it was a good bat­tle.

“Just talk­ing to (Spruce Kings gen­eral man­ager Mike) Hawes af­ter the game, he said the games we played against Pen­tic­ton this year have been some of the best games in the league, they were such good games.”

The Spruce Kings (14-60-1) are tied in points with the third-place Co­quit­lam Ex­press (14-6-1-0) but oc­cupy sec­ond place based on their 3-1 head-to­head record against the Ex­press.

“It’s nice to fi­nally come up the leader­board, we’ve had a pretty good sea­son this year, it’s just the other teams in our di­vi­sion have also had a good year and it’s nice to start see­ing a bit of change here,” said Pois­son. “Last year we fin­ished first in our di­vi­sion but over­all in the league we were fourth and this year, 1-2-3 in the league is the top three in our di­vi­sion.”

Satur­day’s win moved Prince Ge­orge closer to the first-over­all Chilli­wack Chiefs, who lost 4-3 Satur­day to the vis­it­ing Sal­mon Arm Sil­ver­backs. Then on Sun­day af­ter­noon the Chiefs (17-7-0-0) re­stored their five­point gap over the Spruce Kings when they beat Al­berni Val­ley 7-4 in Chilli­wack.

The Kings host Lan­g­ley in their next games, Fri­day and Satur­day at RMCA.

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