Spruce Kings blank Jr. A Senators to improve to 2-0 at NJAC

By Jason La Rose, Hockey Canada

BROOKS, Alta. Ben Brar had a goal and an assist and Logan Neaton made 13 saves, leading the Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL) to a 4-0 win over the Ottawa Jr. A Senators (CCHL) in the lone game Monday at the 2019 National Junior A Championship.

The Spruce Kings hit the halfway mark of the preliminary round unbeaten at 2-0. They also ran the Pacific Region win streak in the round-robin to eight games – Penticton won its last two games in 2012, and Wenatchee was perfect in four tries last year.

Nicholas Poisson, Nick Bochen and Dustin Manz also scored for Prince George, while Dylan Anhorn and Patrick Cozzi chipped in with two assists apiece.

The Spruce Kings had the better chances early and Poisson was the recipient of good work behind the net by Chong Min Lee, who spun away from multiple defenders before throwing a pass across the crease for an easy tap-in and a 1-0 lead.

Nick Bochen doubled the advantage in the final minute in the first period, stepping in and snapping a quick shot through bodies and past Ottawa goaltender Francis Boisvert just seven seconds into a four-minute power play.

Prince George was gifted a two-man advantage to start the second and Brar needed only 36 seconds to make it a three-goal lead, hammering a one-timer past Boisvert off a feed from Anhorn.

Manz added one final marker late in the middle frame, wiring a backhand upstairs from between the hashmarks to make it a 4-0 game after 40 minutes.

All that was left to decide was whether or not Neaton would get the shutout, and he needed to make just three stops in the third period to finish off his fourth clean-sheet of the playoffs.

The Spruce Kings outshot Ottawa 29-13.

Prince George is back on the ice Wednesday night to face the Portage Terriers (MJHL) (7 p.m. MT), while the Jr. Senators face another tough test against the Brooks Bandits (AJHL) on Tuesday (7 p.m. MT).

Photo credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images