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Around the BCHL – Friday, Sept. 30

BCHL-180x240Connor Russell scored with just two minutes remaining to break a tie score and help the Prince George Spruce Kings to a 5-3 home win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

The teams swapped goals in the first and second periods with Ayden McDonald of the Caps and Cavin Tilsley of PG exchanging tallies in the opening frame. In the second, Ty Pochipinski put visitors ahead but Kyle Johnson tied it again 20 seconds before the intermission. The Spruce Kings’ Hunter Luhmann scored in the third but George Sennott tied it for the Caps 2:20 later.

Russell’s winner came at the 18:00 mark of the third and Adam Burnett added an empty-net goal. PG fired 51 shots on Adam Marcoux, who made 47 saves. Tavin Grant made 21 saves for the win for the Spruce Kings.

William Lawrence’s late-third-period goal ensured a single point for the Coquitlam Express on the road but overtime settled nothing as they skated to a 4-4 tie with the host Victoria Grizzlies. A trio of second period goals put the Grizz up 3-2 after two with Marty Westhaver, Nathan Looysen and Cory Hatcher notching the tallies. Blake Hayward scored late in the second to get the Express back within one, setting the stage for Lawrence to force OT. Cole Pickup and Owen Stout exchanged goals in the first and Luca Leone had the other Express goal.

The Wenatchee Wild scored early and often in their home-opening game en route to a 7-5 win over the Langley Rivermen. Charlie Combs, AJ Vanderbeck and then Combs again scored in the first 10 minutes of the game, prompting Langley to swap starter Bo Didur for Nick Trenciansky. Gavin Payne got one back for the Rivermen and in the second, Eric Butte got them within one. Brendan Harris restored a two-goal Wild lead but Langley fought to tie it on goals by Nic Ponak and Max Kaufman. Dakota Raabe put the Wild ahead going to the third and Colin Burston’s goal early in the final frame was the winner. Ponak got a second shortly after but Harris sealed the deal with an empty-netter. Anthony Yamnitsky got the win for the Wild, taking over in goal in the second period for Garrett Nieto.

Goals by Grant Cruikshank and Nic Jones in the first proved to be enough for the Penticton Vees in a 3-1 road win over the West Kelowna Warriors. Cruikshank scored again early in the second. West Kelowna got on the board 57 seconds into the final frame on a Reed Gunville goal. Mat Robson made 24 saves for the win.

A four-goal first period, including two tallies from Tyler Ward, propelled the Merritt Centennials to a 5-2 road win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Elijiah Barriga got a pair for the ‘Backs in the second but they’d get no closer. Zach Risteau iced it with an empty-net goal in the third. Jacob Berger made 31 saves to earn the win for Merritt.

Cam Donaldson’s second goal of the game, on the power-play late in the second, was the winner for the Powell River Kings in a 5-3 decision over the visiting Vernon Vipers. Curtis McCarrick, Donaldson and Johan Steen scored in the first for the Kings but in the second, Tyler Maser and Jagger Williamson got the Vipers back within one. But Donaldson got the decisive tally shortly after that and Gavin Rauser followed quickly with an insurance goal. Ryan Brushett got one back for the Vipers in the third but they couldn’t get another past Brian Wilson, who made 31 saves for the win.