Vernon Vipers forwards Connor Marritt (on-ice) and Josh Latta tangle with Prince George Spruce Kings defenceman Nick Bochen during Game 2 action of the B.C. Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup final in Prince George. The Spruce Kings beat the Vipers 4-1 for their 11th straight playoff win and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven championship. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photos)

Vernon Vipers forwards Connor Marritt (on-ice) and Josh Latta tangle with Prince George Spruce Kings defenceman Nick Bochen during Game 2 action of the B.C. Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup final in Prince George. The Spruce Kings beat the Vipers 4-1 for their 11th straight playoff win and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven championship. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photos)

Prince George rolling in BCHL final

Spruce Kings win 11th straight playoff game, 3-1 over Vernon; take 2-0 Fred Page Cup final lead

Right now, there’s no stopping the Prince George Spruce Kings.

The Spruce Kings are two wins away from their first-ever B.C. Hockey League Fred Page Cup championship following a 4-1 win over the Vernon Vipers Saturday in front of a second-straight capacity crowd of 2,112 fans at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena in B.C.’s Northern capital.

Prince George, winners of 11 straight playoff games, have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven league final, which shifts to Vernon for Games 3 and 4 Tuesday and Wednesday at Kal Tire Place (7 p.m. starts).

The Vipers, held to just two goals in the first two games, dominated play in the first period Saturday, outshooting the Spruce Kings 14-5, but it was the home team getting the only goal as veteran forward Ben Brar scored a carbon-copy deflection goal, similar to one he scored in Friday’s 3-1 victory, with just under four minutes left in the frame.

READ ALSO: Vipers fall to Prince George in game one

In the second, it was Finlay Williams, eight days shy of his 16th birthday, who knocked home a loose puck in the slot to double the Spruce Kings’ lead.

Jesse Lansdell answered for Vernon midway through the frame with his sixth goal of the playoffs and second in as many games. The 20-year-old BCHL veteran centred a pass after a Jagger Williamson wraparound attempt and the puck bounced off a Prince George defender and slowly slid across the line past a prone Neaton to cut the lead to one.

After the Vipers got in penalty trouble late in the second and went down five-on-three, Nick Bochen one-timed a pass from Dylan Anhorn from the point and blew the puck by a screened Porter to make it 3-1 heading into intermission.

Both goalies shut the door in the third period as Prince George outshot Vernon 13-9 in the final frame and Brar sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 39 seconds to play to make it a 4-1 final.

With his 27-save performance in the crease, Logan Neaton of the Spruce Kings was named the first star of the game for the second night in a row. BCHL player of the week Aidan Porter made 23 saves for the Vipers, who have lost six straight post- and regular-season games to the Spruce Kings dating back to 2018.

Tickets for Games 3 and 4 in Vernon go on sale at 10 a.m. Sunday at Kal Tire Place.

The winner of this series meets the Alberta Junior League champion in the best-of-seven Doyle Cup final. The Brooks Bandits lead the AJHL final 2-0 over the Spruce Grove Saints following a pair of 3-2 home-ice wins on the weekend.

Brooks is hosting the National Junior A Hockey Championship (formerly RBC Cup) May 11-19 so if they win the Alberta series, the BCHL champ gets an automatic berth into the Canadian finals.



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

The Youth Climate Corps is seen here planting garlic at a permaculture farm while learning about food security. Photo: Submitted
COLUMN: Canada’s first Youth Climate Corps gets to work

Fourteen young adults are working to advance local climate change mitigation

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

Dr. Cori Lausen, bat specialist, has questions about logging in an unusual bat habitat near Beasley. Photo: Submitted
Kaslo biologist questions logging at unique West Kootenay bat site

Dr. Cori Lausen, a bat specialist, studies a population of bats above Beasley

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Most Read