Playoff recap – March 29

Patrick Cozzi and Ben Poisson scored 11 seconds apart early in the second period to break the game open and the Spruce Kings outshot their opponents 40-27 as they beat the Victoria Grizzlies 4-2 in Game 1 to draw first blood in their third-round series.

With 10 days off between games, PG looked to be the fresher team in the first period as they threw 19 shots on goal, one of which was a Dylan Anhorn drive that got by Grizzlies goalie Kurtis Chapman, and the Spruce Kings led 1-0 after one. Cozzi knocked home a loose puck after it bounced off the back boards and in front of the net 10 seconds into the second period and Poisson tallied seconds later to make it 3-0 Prince George 21 seconds into the frame. Corey Cunningham deked out Chapman and slid a backhander by the Victoria netminder 6:51 in to make it 4-0 Spruce Kings, but the Grizzlies answered back with goals from Alexander Campbell and Cameron Thompson before the end of the second to make it 4-2 heading to the third. PG goalie Logan Neaton shut the door from there, finishing the game with 25 saves to get his ninth win of the postseason.

With his second-period tally, Poisson now has nine playoff goals, tying him for the league lead. Grizzlies forward Alex Newhook picked up one assist, which puts him one back of the playoff points lead with 19.

Victoria will look to bounce back and even the series in Game 2 tomorrow night in Prince George.