One down, many to go, but it didn’t come easy for the Prince George Spruce Kings Friday night (March 1).
In Game One of their first-round series against Coquitlam, both clubs got rough with each other early, not making scoring chances come as often.
The home team, however, fed off the momentum from the end of the 2018-19 season last weekend, prevailing over the Express by a score of 3-1 at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena (RMCA) to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Prince George’s winningest goaltender was trusted with the playoff opener and did not disappoint; Logan Neaton made 21 saves on 22 shots from the opposition for his first career BCHL playoff win.
Spruce Kings’ captain Ben Poisson potted the series’ first goal less than four minutes into the contest before more than 1,200 fans.
The tally came on a power-play with assists from Lucas Vanroboys and Layton Ahac.
Coquitlam tied up the contest 45 seconds into the middle frame on a man-advantage, but the stalemate only lasted five minutes.
Poisson added an assist on Prince George’s second goal, which was scored by Ahac for his second point of the night as well.
Physical play dominated the third period with several scraps in front of each team’s net as players tried to poke the puck into the net, attempting anything they could to get that first win.
Surprisingly, no fights broke out.
Season-leading scorer Dustin Manz sealed the Game One victory with an empty-netter with 49 seconds left, connecting on the shot from linemate Ben Brar.
The Spruce Kings host Game Two of the first round tonight (March 2) at the RMCA.
Puck drop goes for 7 p.m.
Twelve teams embarked on the Chevrolet #BCHLPlayoffs journey on Friday night, but only six started off on the right foot.— BC Hockey League (@GoBCHL) March 2, 2019
Check out some of the best highlights from around the league in the first playoff edition of #BCHLin60! pic.twitter.com/r9LQEVlmcc