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Prince George Spruce Kings one win from second straight Fred Page Cup Finals berth

‘Kings are up 3-0 in series with Victoria Grizzlies after third consecutive 4-2 victory

The Fred Page Cup Finals are within an arm’s reach for the Prince George Spruce Kings.

The red, white, and blue vanquished the Victoria Grizzlies by a score of 4-2 for a third straight game in the Coastal Conference Finals (that’s not a late April Fool’s Day joke), while also taking a commanding 3-0 series lead on the Island Division champions.

One more win for Prince George and they will punch their ticket to B.C. Hockey League (BCHL) Finals for a second consecutive year.

This is also the third straight 2018-19 playoff series the Spruce Kings have led three games to none; they were up 3-0 against Coquitlam before winning that series in five games, and then, they were up by the same score in the Mainland Division Finals against Chilliwack, which they eventually swept.

Goaltender Logan Neaton made his 12th start out of 12 playoff games this season, making 27 saves on 29 shots, while Kurtis Chapman stopped 42 of 46 shots from Prince George.

Nolan Welsh scored two goals in the contest, including one short-handed, which proved to be the eventual game-winner, and the other on a power-play.

The 19-year-old also picked up an assist on the Spruce Kings’ opening goal of the game, courtesy of Lucas Vanroboys, which came 30 seconds after Victoria scored first at the 1:56 mark of the second period.

After three minutes of 1-1 hockey, Prince George potted two more goals in under two minutes, one by Layton Ahac and the other by Welsh to enjoy a 3-1 lead midway through the contest.

The Grizzlies made it 3-2 on a power-play before the end of the middle frame, hoping to kickstart a comeback themselves.

The third period would favour the visitors however, as Welsh potted the 4-2 insurance marker four minutes in while on a man-advantage and the Spruce Kings would hang on for the Game Three victory.

Ahac and Max Coyle also picked up two points each en route to the ‘Kings win, which is now their 11th in 12 playoff games this season.

Game Four is slated for tonight, 7 p.m. from the Q-Centre in Victoria, and if Prince George wins, they will move on the Fred Page Cup Finals and await the winner of the Interior Conference Championship.

The Vernon Vipers and the Wenatchee Wild are tied 1-1 in that series.

If the Grizzlies win, Game Five will be back at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena (RMCA) Thursday night (April 4).