Duncan Campbell was seconds away from having back-to-back games with winning goals for the Penticton Vees.
The former Brandon Wheat King gave his new team a 2-1 lead over the Prince George Spruce Kings in the second period.
Instead, the Vees hung on for a 3-2 win in BCHL action Saturday at the South Okanagan Events Centre in front of a crowd of 3,314.
“I thought we were probably as awful as awful could be in the first period,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson, whose team trailed 1-0 and were outshot 10-6. “I thought we woke up, the alarm clock went off between the first and second period. From then on I thought we were pretty good.”
Harbinson added he went after some guys pretty hard between the first and second and they stepped up.
Chris Klack, the third star, scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season. The latter, scored into an empty goal with 2:10 remaining when Klack stole it from Stefan Wornig, who mishandled the puck, proved more critical.
In the last minute, the Spruce Kings pressured the Vees in their zone. The Vees were unable to clear the puck as they had a few hard battles along the boards with the Spruce Kings. Eventually former Vee Connor Russell was able to get one past Mat Robson, who finished with 22 saves to earn second star.
“I thought Prince George played a heck of a game,” said Harbinson. “Played with a lot of pace and real smarts over there. I thought it was a good hockey game.”
The Spruce Kings opened the scoring 1:08 into the opening frame when Kyle Johnson beat Robson. Klack’s first evened the score as his shot went off of Wornig’s glove.
Campbell, the game’s first star, gave the Vees a 2-1 lead at 14:28 of the second when he was able to sneak through two Spruce Kings defenders near the blue line after being sprung lose with a long pass. Campbell beat Wornig five-hole.
The Vees improve to 17-3-0, while the Spruce Kings are 8-10-0-2.
Vees notes: Defenceman Jonathan Tychonick and Team Canada White lost the bronze medal game 6-1 to Russia, in Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Tychonick assisted on Carson Focht’s late second period goal on the power play. In six games, Tyhonick collected four assists.