The penny slots paid off in a big way Wednesday night for the Prince George Spruce Kings.
They plugged away for 60 minutes feeding rubber biscuits at the Cents’ cage and lined their pockets with double fistful of fortune.
And when they finally cashed out for the night in the B.C. Hockey League pod at Chilliwack Coliseum the Kings had themselves an 11-2 blowout win over the Merritt Centennials.
Andrew Seaman and Christian Buono each posted three-goal, one-assist efforts - the first hat tricks of their BCHL careers. It was also a night of firsts for Kings rookies Connor Elliott, John Herrington and Linden Makow, who each scored their first junior A goals.
Makow, a 16-year-old former Cariboo Cougar midget from Vanderhoof playing in his first BCHL game, also drew the primary assist on Herrington’s goal. That came 4:48 into the second period, prompting a goaltending switch. Cents starting goaltender Colton Phillips-Watts was replaced by Josh Dias after giving up five goals on 16 shots. The Kings went on to outshoot Merritt 37-18.
Carter Cochrane and Mason Waite also got in on the goal scoring. Corey Cunningham and Max Borovinskiy each had two assists. Jake McLean and Talon Zakall scored for the Centennials, who dropped to 0-3.
Aaron Trotter made 16 saves in the Spruce Kings nets -- the first career BCHL win for the Victoria native, who celebrated his 21st birthday in style on Wednesday.
Four of the Prince George goals came during their 11 power-play opportunities. The Kings’ penalty-killers did their job holding the Cents 0-for-6.
It was largest margin of victory for the Spruce Kings since Oct. 22, 2016, when they beat the Surrey Eagles 11-2 at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena. That came about a month after the visiting Wenatchee Wild dumped the Kings 11-2 on Sept. 17.
The Cents lost 3-2 to the Spruce Kings on Sunday. The teams will meet again on Saturday.
Next up for the Prince George (2-1) is a Friday a game in Chilliwack against the Chilliwack Chiefs. The Chiefs were 4-1 winners when the teams met for the first time on Saturday.