An apparent grizzly attack in Prince George was easily taken care of Saturday night (March 30).
The Spruce Kings took advantage of a frustrated and angry Victoria team, who were looking to leave B.C.’s northern capital with a tied-up Coastal Conference Championship.
That wasn’t the case thanks to the offensive dominance of Dustin Manz and Prince George product Corey Cunningham, recording two goals each and aiding the Spruce Kings to a second consecutive 4-2 victory at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena (RMCA) and propelling the red, white, and blue to a 2-0 series lead.
A power-play marker got the Grizzlies fired up, holding on to that 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play.
However, two minutes into the middle frame, Cunningham grabbed a loose puck in the offensive zone and deked around three Grizzlies plus goaltender Kurtis Chapman to tie the game at 1-1.
Manz followed with a power-play goal 10 minutes later, tipping in a shot from Nick Bochen from the point.
After Victoria got one back for the 2-2 tie, Cunningham picked up his second of the night and sending the home team into the intermission up 3-2.
The third period was not a quiet stanza as physical play took over between the two clubs, forcing the referees to get involved.
Eventually, the 1,966 strong erupted after Manz potted the insurance marker on a partial breakaway, skating slightly faster than potential first-round NHL Draft pick Alex Newhook.
The 4-2 score would stand final and giving Prince George a 2-0 cushion in the B.C. Hockey League’s (BCHL) third-round series, officially halfway to a berth in the Fred Page Cup Final.
They were almost perfect in the month of March in winning 10 of 11 games, including three shutouts from Neaton, and outscoring their opponents 44-17.
Prince George will now make the trip to the provincial capital for Games Three and Four, which take place Monday (April 1) and Tuesday (April 2).
Puck drop is 7 p.m. for both Q-Centre tilts.
If Victoria wins at least one of those two matches, Game Five would shift back to the RMCA, slated for Thursday (April 4).
Emotions ran high in Prince George as the Spruce Kings managed to take down the Victoria Grizzlies, and the Vernon Vipers needed overtime to knock off the Wenatchee Wild in the first game of their series.— BC Hockey League (@GoBCHL) March 31, 2019
Check out the highlights in tonight's #BCHLin60! pic.twitter.com/6o9s0wvBN4