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

Teacher parades connect staff to student families during quarantines

Half a dozen Langley elementary schools have held similar events

Cops for Cancer hoping tour still on as spring fundraising suspended

Tour de Valley riders from the Fraser Valley are waiting for the all-clear

WEATHER: Clear skies, windy near the water in Langley

Temperatures to reach a high of 11 C

Bowen Byram makes all-star, again

Vancouver Giants defenceman recognized for second year in a row

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

Most Read