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Spruce Kings pull away in third

spruce kings pull away in third

by don klepp | Added 2012-01-16

A 5-1 win in Vernon on Sunday rescued what had been a lost weekend for the Prince George Spruce Kings.

They had lost to Chilliwack and Penticton the previous two nights, even though Coach Dave Dupas sais they had played well enough to win at least one of the of those matches. When they hit Vernon, said Dupas, they were determined to salvage something from a difficult weekend swing.

That determination was especially evident in the third period when they outshot the Vipers 17-4 and created three goals to salt the game away. They didn’t start well, however, as the Vipers had the early scoring chances and outshot the northerners 7-1 in the first half of the period.

The Spruce Kings rebounded, even though they were outhit 19-10 by an equally determined Viper squad in the opening 20 minutes. Sean Landrey opened the scoring as he deposited a Chase Golightly rebound at 13:03.

At 19:15, BCHL point leader Paul De Jersey accepted a gift from Adam Tambellini in front of the Viper net. De Jersey’s initial shot was blocked by Danny Todosychuk, but De Jersey backhanded the rebound past the young Viper goalie.

The score could have been more lopsided, if not for some fine saves by Todosychuk and posts hit by Zack Rassell and De Jersey.

The Vipers battled back in the second period and eventually pulled the score back to 2-1 on Patrick McGillis’s power play goal at 17:50. Aaron Hadley’s spirited rush took him behind Thompson’s net where he lost control of the puck. Colton Cyr retrieved it and found McGillis open near the blue line. McGillis moved into the right faceoff circle and overpowered Thompson with a high wrister.

Missing six regulars, the Vipers ran out of gas in the third period. When they were out shot 17-4 and surrendered three Spruce King goals at the hands of Gerry Fitzgerald, Paul De Jersey, and Sean Landrey.

Viper captain, Patrick McGillis, admits that his team lacked focus and energy in the final 20 minutes. “We were tired. I think the injuries have caught up with us. Some top guys have had to play too many minutes for the past two months. We often haven’t been able to operate with set lines, so we’ve had to work harder to make things happen.”

Still, McGillis is optimistic about making the playoffs: “We have time to turn things around. When we get all our guys back, you’ll see a much different Viper team.”