Prince George Spruce Kings 3 - Aurora Tigers 6
TIGERS HAND SPRUCE KINGS SECOND STRAIGHT LOSS
Andrew Favot scored late in the second period, a goal which stood up as the game winner as the Aurora Tigers topped the Prince George Spruce Kings 6-3 on Tuesday night at CN Centre in Prince George, BC.
Favot worked his way to the middle of the ice and snapped a shot from between the circles that Spruce Kings goaltender Jordan White could only get a piece of, leading the Central Region champions to their second win in three games at the 2007 RBC Royal Bank Cup.
Paul Zanette, with a pair, Doug Henderson, Daniel Michalsky and Mark Thorburn also scored for the Tigers, who have Wednesday off before meeting the Camrose Kodiaks in arguably the most anticipated game of the round robin on Thursday night.
Tyler Helfrich scored twice and Alain Joanette added one for the Spruce Kings, who dropped their second straight game at the National Junior A Championship after a 5-2 win over the Pembroke Lumber Kings to open the tournament on Saturday night.
“We just weren’t where we needed to be tonight,” Spruce Kings head coach Ed Dempsey said following the loss. “Our decision making was no where near what it should be for this level of hockey, and it cost us.”
The Tigers jumped on the tournament hosts early, scoring twice in the first 4:30 of the game, and looked like they were going to rebound well from their 5-3 loss to the Lumber Kings on Monday afternoon.
But the Spruce Kings got one back on a two-man advantage late in the period, and were only outshot 9-8 in the opening 20 minutes.
Michalsky took a pass from Michael Dahlinger and slid the puck around White on an Aurora powerplay for his
tournament-leading fifth goal, restoring the two-goal lead for the Tigers
After Favot got the Aurora lead to two, Helfrich cut it in half once again, giving the Spruce Kings life and igniting the more than 3,000 fans in attendance.
But it would take just 98 seconds for the Tigers to restore the two-goal lead, as Zanette tipped in a point shot from Aurora captain Quinn Waller, who picked up three assists in the win.
Thorburn rounded out the scoring with just under seven minutes to go, providing the final margin of victory.
Helfrich picked up Player of the Game honours for the Spruce Kings, while Zanette won the award for the Tigers.
SPRUCE KINGS, TIGERS LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK FROM LOSSES
Two teams coming off tough losses meet Tuesday night at the 2007 RBC Royal Bank Cup when the Prince George Spruce Kings and Aurora Tigers meet at CN Centre.
The Spruce Kings opened up a 2-0 second period lead over the Camrose Kodiaks, and then saw it evaporate in a 4-2 loss to the Pacific Region champions on Sunday night. Prince George allowed two goals in 105 seconds to allow the Kodiaks to tie the game midway through the second period before being outshot 14-9 in the decisive final frame.
Alain Joanette continues to be an offensive spark plug for the Spruce Kings – the 5-foot-9 forward was in on both goals against the Kodiaks, and has at least a point in both of the host’s games so far.
The Tigers – the CJAHL’s top-ranked team coming into the National Junior A Championship – fell behind 3-1 to the Pembroke Lumber Kings on Monday afternoon, fought back to tie the game 3-3, and eventually dropped a 5-3 decision.
Aurora got themselves in penalty trouble often against the Lumber Kings, taking six consecutive minor penalties at one point and 10 of 11 between midway through the first period and early in the third period. Pembroke capitalized twice with the man advantage, which was the difference in the game.
With both teams at 1-1 a win by either the hosts or the Central Region champions will go a long way towards locking up a semi-final spot, making Tuesday night’s match-up arguably the most important of the round robin thus far.