A short-handed goal by Liam Watson-Brawn with 2:21 left in the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Prince George Spruce Kings beat the Coquitlam Express 4-2, Friday at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex.
It was the seventh loss in a row for the Express, who now cling to third place in the BC Hockey League’s Mainland division after their pursuers, the Langley Express, earned a single point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Surrey Eagles.
Prince George opened the scoring on a power play late in the first period. Coquitlam tied it with a short-handed goal by Jared Power 12:41 into the second period.
After Nicholas Poisson put the Spruce Kings back in front with another power play goal 5:32 into the third period, Pito Walton was able to get the Express back on even terms five minutes later with a squib shot that found its way through a crowd of players and past Prince George goalie Logan Neaton.
But with time running down and Prince George’s Chong Min Lee in the penalty box for tripping, the visitors scored the decisive goal. They then added an insurance marker into the empty Coquitlam net with 12 seconds left on the clock.
The game was chippy, especially in the third period, when several players were assessed misconduct penalties. Coquitlam’s Christian Sanda was tossed from the game when he got into a fight with Max Coyle of the Spruce Kings, who was also given a game misconduct.
Lucas Vanroboys of Prince George and Chase Danol from the Express were also sent to the penalty box with 10-minute misconducts and Coquitlam’s Dallas Farrell was sent off the ice with another misconduct just as he jumped onto the ice when netminder Clay Stevenson reached the bench for an extra attacker.
The Express will try to finish their home schedule on a winning note on Sunday, when they host the Wenatchee Wild at 3 p.m. They’ll then hit the road for their final four games in Powell River, Cowichan Valley, Vernon and Surrey.