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Spruce Kings suffer shootout sting again

Prince George wraps up three-game series in Trail Sunday night

Another game, another shootout result that shows evidence the Prince George Spruce Kings came out on the short end of the stick.

Just like the previous night’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Trail Smoke Eaters, it came to another skills contest to decide the outcome of Saturday’s rematch in Trail and the Spruce Kings were the losers by a 3-2 count.

Unlike Friday’s game, the Spruce Kings didn’t blow any third-period leads. In fact, they need a goal in the final period just to get to overtime.

Nick Rheaume continued his hot streak for Prince George with his fifth goal and seventh point in three games to open the scoring in the second period on a Spruce Kings’ power play. But the Smokies responded with a pair of power-play goals of their own  before the second intermission. Charlie Strobel and Colson Wolford each put pucks behind goalie Aaron Trotter, much to the delight of a partisan Cominco Arena crowd of 1,154..

Rowan Miller tied the game in the third period for the Kings with just 1:27 left in regulation time. Each team put five shots on net in the five-minute overtime. The Smokes held the edge in the game, 37-33.

As they did Friday, the Spruce Kings (18-9-2-3-0) gained a point in the BCHL standings for their shootout loss. They remain third in the Interior Conference. Their .636 winning percentage is slightly better than that of the Smoke Eaters (.533), who hold down sixth place with a 15-12-1-1-0 record.

The teams will go at it one more time Sunday night (6 p.m. start) before the Kings board the bus for the long trip back to Prince George. They’ll host the Vernon Vipers Friday and Saturday at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.