Spruce Kings solve Taylor, Vipers

Spruce Kings solve Taylor, Vipers

Prince George scores 2-1, home-ice win over Vernon Vipers in BCHL play Friday

The Prince George Spruce Kings, twice, have done something the Cowichan Valley Capitals and West Kelowna Warriors couldn’t do in the past two weeks.

Score on Vernon Vipers goalie Ty Taylor.

Ben Brar’s unassisted goal (20th), at 7:49 of the second period, snapped a 1-1 tie and lifted the Spruce Kings to a 2-1 win over the Vipers in B.C. Hockey League action Friday in Prince George.

The goal game 90 seconds after Ben Poisson tied the contest with a powerplay marker. Poisson’s goal was the first Taylor had given up in 147 minutes and 44 seconds. The Spruce Kings’ Jarod Hovde had been the last player to beat Taylor with his controversial game-winner at 18:35 of the second period Jan. 6 in the Celebrate the Civic Arena game won by PG, 3-2.

Related: Spruce Kings clip Vipers on retro night

Taylor blanked the Spruce Kings in the third period that night, recorded back-to-back shutouts against the Capitals and Warriors, and held Prince George scoreless through the opening 20 minutes Friday. Taylor had been looking to establish a BCHL record with his eighth shutout of the season.

Newly acquired Derek Brown got his first as a Viper to open the scoring Friday on a first-period powerplay. The Vipers outshot the Spruce Kings 25-16.

With the win, Prince George moved into sole possession of first place in the Mainland Division, two points ahead of the Surrey Eagles. The Vipers’ loss, coupled with Penticton’s 4-1 win at home Friday over Merritt, left Vernon two points ahead of the Vees atop the Interior Division and overall standings.

Penticton took on the visiting Trail Smoke Eaters Saturday. The Vipers visit the Coquitlam Express Sunday.

In the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Friday, the North Okanagan Knights scored four unanswered goals to beat the Okanagan Division-leading Osoyoos Coyotes 4-1 at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Dean Whitcomb scored twice for the Knights, who pulled to within five points of the Princeton Posse for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division. The Posse fell 10-4 at home Friday to the Kelowna Chiefs.

The two teams battle in Princeton Saturday.

Marshall Porteous and Jaden Hay had the other goals for the Knights, who received a 33-save performance from Zach Willms. Former North Okanagan goalie Daniel Paul made 27 saves for the Coyotes, who have clinched a post-season berth.

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