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Prince George Spruce Kings rule over Victoria Grizzlies again

Victoria’s Brendan Bowie, wearing a Victoria Salsa jersey, keeps the puck from Prince George’s Nolan Welsh.
Photograph By DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Brian Drewry / Times Colonist
OCTOBER 26, 2019 10:10 PM

PRINCE GEORGE 2
VICTORIA 1

Try as they might, the Victoria Grizzlies just can’t solve the Prince George Spruce Kings.

With the Grizzlies’ 2-1 loss to the Spruce Kings on Saturday night at The Q Centre, Victoria has now lost six straight games to Prince George, going back to last spring when the Spruce Kings swept the Grizzlies in four straight games in the B.C. Hockey League semifinals. Prince George went on to win the league title and finish second at the national championship tournament.

The Spruce Kings (6-8-2) are off to a bit of a slow start this season, but that didn’t stop them from picking up their second win over Victoria this season, having beaten the Grizzlies 6-1 in Prince George last month.

The Grizzlies, who fall to 7-12 on the season, continue to be haunted by sloppy play in their own end and lack of finish at the other end. Spruce Kings leading scorer Nick Poisson, who’s headed to Providence of the NCAA next fall, was gift-wrapped the opening goal when Grizzlies winger Cody Monds turned the puck over in the slot, giving Poisson an easy tap-in past Joe Howe with 4:30 left in the first. And six minutes into the second, Nolan Welsh was left all alone beside Howe and made no mistake to send the visitors on their way.

Grizzlies captain Marty Westhaver helped bring the 940 in attendance at The Q Centre to life when he wheeled around a defenceman and fed rookie Andrew Amousse for a quick shot past Jett Alexander five minutes into the third period.

The Grizzlies outshot the Spruce Kings 38-29, but were beaten for the third straight game on home ice. Victoria is 2-5 at The Q Centre this season.

The Grizzlies host the Coquitlam Express on Tuesday. Victoria’s four-game homestand wraps up when the Vernon Vipers come to town on Friday, followed by the Penticton Vees on Saturday.

LOOSE PUCKS: The Grizzlies were again without defencemen Brady MacDonald and Isack Bandu. MacDonald has an upper-body injury and Bandu served the third of a five-game suspension for a match penalty for a blow to the head.

© 2019 Copyright Times Colonist