The Prince George Spruce Kings won the special teams battles en route to a convincing 5-2 win over the host Vernon Vipers in BCHL action Friday night.
Brad Ryan was the Spruce Kings linchpin, registering a goal and two assists on the power play, to go with another assist while playing five on five. Along with captain Trevor Esau, he was a solid defender on the penalty kill.
Ryan and Esau were instrumental in blanking Vernon during their five power plays. The two trees – Ryan is 6’ 5” and Esau is 6’4” – controlled the PG crease in front of goalie Kirk Thompson.
The Vipers opened the scoring on TJ Dumonceaux’s first BCHL goal, a low slap shot at 3:30 of the second period.
Cam Lawson tied it three and a half minutes later with a high shot to Austin Smith’s glove side after a turnover in the Viper zone.
The next two goals also found the top corner. Sean Landrey converted another Viper turnover at 14:47 and Brad Ryan’s point shot went through a maze of players for a power play marker at 18:55.
The onslaught was a pronounced turnaround. The Vipers were the better team in the early going, creating eight scoring chances in the first period while limiting the Spruce Kings to four. Then, the Spruce Kings piled up the scoring chances and the shots, eventually out shooting the Vipers 46 to 30.
In the third period, Lawson scored again, this time on the power play at 2:13 then Lyndon Martell followed with another power play strike at 5:15 to make the score 5-1.
Vernon’s Mitch VanTeeling closed the scoring at 16:30 after TJ Dumonceaux’s spirited rush had led to a scramble in the PG crease area.
--with files from Don Klepp