Spruce Kings left licking their wounds

The Prince George Spruce Kings three-game tour of the Mainland Division was not the stuff of which sweet dreams are made.

The defending B.C. Hockey League champs lost all three games and gained just one of a possible six points in the standings. 

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The latest defeat came Saturday night in Chilliwack, where the Kings fell 4-1 to the second-place Chiefs in front of 2,002 witnesses at Chilliwack Coliseum.

Ethan Bowen staked the Chiefs to an early lead just 71 seconds into the game, with the only goal of the first period. Joey Larson and Nikita Nesterenko, on a second-period power play, increased the lead to 3-0 before Ryan McAllister connected with his Kings linemate Andrew Seaman to put the puck behind Chiefs goalie Mathieu Caron.

Brett Rylance capped the scoring in the third period for the Chiefs, who improved to 12-7-4-1. The Spruce Kings (8-11-2-2) remained two points ahead of the Langley Rivermen for third place in the Mainland.

The Chiefs outshot the Spruce Kings 28-21. Caron made 20 saves to improve his record to 8-2-0-1. Jett Alexander took the loss in the Prince George nets.

The Kings were missing two of their top guns for most of Saturday’s game. Centre Fin Williams, who suffered a skate-blade cut on the back of his leg in a game against Salmon Arm, Oct. 12, has missed the last 10 games. The 16-year-old BCHL rookie had seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in just 13 games.

They also lost the services of winger Corey Cunningham when he was tossed out for a head contact major penalty 7:48 into Saturday’s game. Cunningham has averaged a point per game with eight goals and 12 assists in 20 games.

Prince George started the trip with a 4-3 shootout loss to the division-leading Coquitlam Express. Friday in Surrey they dropped a 7-2 decision to the Surrey Eagles.

The Spruce Kings will return to Rolling Mix Concrete Arena on Wednesday to face the Vernon Vipers (12-9-1-0, fourth in Interior).

The Kings will be back on home ice to face the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday and the West Kelowna Warriors on Saturday.

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