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.

 

Just Posted

Landlord of alleged Penticton shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Summerland reservoirs expected to fill, despite low snow levels

Snow measurements at two Summerland sites have been significantly lower than normal

VIDEO: Weekend weather for the Okanagan-Shuswap

A mix of rain, clouds and sun are expected for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen

Big Changes to Kelowna’s Fat Cat

“We wanted to revitalize the event”

Cheech and Chong bring O Cannabis tour to Penticton

Comedic duo to perform at the South Okanagan Events Centre this fall

Video: Penticton unites for candlelight vigil honouring shooting victims

Hundreds gathered to support the grieving family & friends of the victims from the April 15 shooting

B.C. RCMP arrest foreign national in connection to airport thefts

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Snow falling at Big White near season’s end

Big White is open until April 22

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Funds presented for Growing Woman’s Health Campaign

Summerland Shoppers Drug Mart presents cheque for event held last autumn

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Big stories begin with small suitcase in upcoming festival

Shuswap-Okanagan storytellers to open up at Festival of Mini Theatre in Salmon Arm

Rain closes North Okanagan fields

Forecast calling for more rain Friday

Most Read