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Downing pays the price, scores in OT to sink Spruce Kings

Grayson Downing, black and blue from a series of blocked shots moments earlier, scored on a nifty individual effort in overtime to give the Westside Warriors a 4-3 victory over the Prince George Spruce Kings in British Columbia Hockey League action at Royal LePage Place on Friday night.

The Warriors had just finished killing a penalty when Downing came off the bench, grabbed the puck near the boards in the Prince George zone, made a move to get into the high slot and fired a puck off the post and in to end the game in dramatic fashion.

Prince George had a great opportunity to win late in the third period and early in overtime with the man advantage, but Downing made two shot blocks – one off the arm and another off the leg  – to keep the game tied. Prince George had the man advantage after Max French received an interference penalty away from the play with 1:26 remaining in the third.

The win gives the Warriors a 7-3 record on the season and a 4-1 mark on thier current homestand. The Warriors scored the only goal of the third period on a deflection by Tyler Krause off a Joel Woznikoski point shot. Kyle Singleton and Scott MacDonald also scored for the Warriors and Kevin Jebson picked up the victory in goal, making 21 saves.

The Kings’ top line of Muchalla, Brooks Robinson and Jeff Earnest seemingly never left the ice. Unofficially, they were on the ice for more than 40 minutes, unheard of for forwards, even in junior hockey. Muchalla, Zac Rasmussen and Kyle Manlow scored for the Kings.

Alex Wright took the loss in goal after making 22 saves. The Warriors had to do without their top scorer for most of the contest. Cam Reid was ejected late in the first period for a hit from behind.

The Warriors continue this home stand with a game against the Cowichan Valley Capitals, on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Royal Le Page Place, while the Spruce Kings travel to Trail for a Saturday night meeting with the Smoke Eaters.