Pembroke Lumber Kings 2 - Prince George Spruce Kings 5
SPRUCE KINGS OPEN RBC ROYAL BANK CUP WITH BIG WIN OVER LUMBER KINGS
Apparently 52 days off didn’t have that much of an effect on the Prince George Spruce Kings.
In their first game since March 14, the 2007 RBC Royal Bank Cup hosts used a three-goal second period to score a 5-2 win over the Pembroke Lumber Kings in front of more than 3,100 fans at CN Centre.
Jordan Inglis scored twice and added two assists for the Spruce Kings, and was named his team’s Player of the Game for his efforts.
Tyler Helfrich, Cody Schlamb and Ryan deVries also scored for Prince George, who, according to head coach Ed Dempsey, did their best to shake off almost two months of rust heading into the tournament.
“We looked at it (the RBC Royal Bank Cup) like a new season,” Dempsey said after the win. “We practiced ten straight days coming in, had another training camp, and looked it as a six-game season. We came out very determined, and it showed on the scoreboard.”
After 19 minutes of scoreless hockey to open the game, both teams struck in the final 55 seconds of the first period.
Inglis got the Spruce Kings on the board at the 19:05 mark before Chris Laganiere got the Lumber Kings even just 26 seconds later.
Helfrich, Schlamb and Inglis pushed the hosts out in front in the middle frame, and deVries rounded out the scoring on a Prince George powerplay with eight minutes to go.
The Spruce Kings scored twice with the man advantage, while the Lumber Kings picked up one powerplay marker.
Scott Campbell was named Player of the Game for the East Region champions after scoring once and adding an assist.
Jordan White turned aside 22 shots for the win in the Prince George goal, while Paul Beckwith made 38 saves in a losing cause for Pembroke.
The Spruce Kings return to the ice at CN Centre on Sunday night when they take on the Camrose Kodiaks, while the Lumber Kings have the day off before facing the Aurora Tigers on Monday afternoon.
SPRUCE KINGS OPEN UP RBC ROYAL BANK CUP AGAINST LUMBER KINGS
The host Prince George Spruce Kings look to shake off seven-and-a-half weeks of rust when they take to the ice at CN Centre on Saturday night for their match-up against the Pembroke Lumber Kings in the opening game of the 2007 RBC Royal Bank Cup.
The Spruce Kings last played a game on March 14th, a Game 7 loss to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the opening round of the B.C. Hockey League playoffs. Fifty-two days later, they open up their quest to become the second team in three years to win the National Junior A Championship on home ice.
Prince George was one of the BCHL’s hottest teams down the stretch in the regular season, going 15-5-1-1 after the January 12th trade deadline. They will need to find that hockey this week if they hope to take home their first RBC Royal Bank Cup.
The Pembroke Lumber Kings rolled through the playoffs on their way to Prince George, going 12-3 in the Central Junior A Hockey League postseason and 3-1 at the Fred Page Cup en route to their first National Junior A Championship since hosting the tournament in 1988.
Captain Scott Campbell is the key to the Lumber Kings’ offensive success. The five-year veteran led the team and the league in goals (53) and points (107) in the regular season, as well as the playoffs (10 goals, 21 points). As he goes, so go the East Region champions.
Winning the opening game is not always key to winning the national championship. Last year, the Burnaby Express dropped their opener 4-3 to the host Streetsville Derbys before rebounding to win the RBC Royal Bank Cup, not losing a game the rest of the way. Regardless, expect both the Spruce Kings and Lumber Kings to come out ready to play, and not wanting to hit the loss column before anyone else.