For the Prince George Spruce Kings it was pure domination in their home opener.
The Spruce Kings (1-2-0) picked up their first win of the B.C. Hockey League season Friday at the Coliseum with a 7-1 win over their Mainland division rival Chilliwack Chiefs (0-3-1). It's the second straight game the Spruce Kings have beaten the Chiefs in Prince George, dating back to last March when the Kings earned a 5-2 playoff win.
Jake LeBrun led the way with a pair of goals to give the 1,022 fans an opportunity to cheer for the hometown son, while Brent Lashuk had a goal and two assists. Spruce Kings defenceman Christian Weidauer picked up two assists to give him six points (one goal, five helpers) this season to lead all BCHL defencemen. Alex Murray had the 18-save win in the Spruce Kings' net.
The Spruce Kings fired 53 shots at Chiefs goalie Lyndon Stanwood.
Justin Rai opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game for the Spruce Kings but the Chiefs tied the game at 1-1 on Jaret Babych's first of the season midway through the opening period. Chad Staley and Weidauer picked up the assists on Rai's first goal of the season.
The Spruce Kings opened up a 4-1 advantage after 40 minutes of play on markers from Jake LeBrun (second goal), Brent Lashtuk (first goal) and defenceman Caleb Thompson (first BCHL goal). Mitch Eden picked up two assists in the period.
Lashtuk's backhander to the top of the net came during a scramble in the Chiefs' crease as goalie Stanwood was knocked down. Chiefs head coach Harvey Smyl took exception to the goal, suggesting Stanwood was interfered with and ultimately was banned from the game by the referee with five minutes to play in the second period. Before taking the walk of shame to the Chiefs' locker room Smyl gave the referee an earful much to the delight of the fans.
Thompson gave the Spruce Kings a 4-1 lead on a one-timer from the blueline during the home side's third power-play of the game.
Earlier in the second frame Kings third-year defenceman Skylar Pacheco had to be helped off the ice after going down hard into the boards behind the Spruce Kings' net.
LeBrun added his second goal of the game to give the Spruce Kings a 5-1 lead in the third period and rookie defenceman Danny Kiraly finished off a two-on-one play with Rai for his first BCHL goal for a 6-1 lead. Pacheco returned for the third period and capped off the scoring with his first goal of the season to put the Spruce Kings up 7-1.
The Spruce Kings and Chiefs tangle again tonight, 7 p.m., at the Coliseum.
Kings notes: The Prince George SPCA is $702 richer from the money donated from the Spruce Kings tailgate party before the game. Prince George products Seb Lloyd and Liam Blackburn both contributed offensively in the West Kelowna Warriors 3-2 win Friday over the Merritt Centennials. Lloyd had a pair of assists and Blackburn had a goal