The Centennials paid the ultimate tribute to Jesse Pakulat on Friday night by delivering a 4-2 win over the defending champion Spruce Kings.
Early on in the game the Cents made a few mistakes, but when the Cents faltered Tanner Marshall came up with the big save to keep the Cents in it. The Cents went down a man early, but Payton Matsui was able to score shorthanded by picking the pocket of Jett Alexander and then beat him to the post with the wraparound to make it 1-0. Late in the period, Thomas Manty broke in over the line, found the trailer in Talon Zakall and he fired a shot on that was tipped by Hunor Torzsok and in. After 1 the shots were 12-7 in favour of the Spruce Kings.
The second period continued with the strong play of the Cents up front, but once again if they faltered Marshall was able to supply the big save. The Cents got some goals early on in the frame, and the third goal came from the most likely source. Josh Kagan finished off a back door feed from Christian Buono to make it 3-0, and just 2 minutes later Matt Osadick scored his first legit goal in the BCHL after fooling Alexander five-hole. With the help of some timely saves from Marshall, the Cents carried the 4-0 lead into the 3rd period despite being out shot 23-18.
The final frame saw the Cents buckle, but not break as they hung on for the win. The Spruce Kings were able to convert on a couple bounces around the net, and a knuckle puck from the line to bring Prince George within 2. Tanner Marshall and the Cents would hang on for the 4-2 victory. Final shots were 42-24 in favour of PG.
After the game, Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter said the team is starting to come together.
"We are doing the things we need to do to win. Play hard, defend the middle of the ice, and play for each other. I liked the look of the new guys in the line up, and I'm looking forward to building off of this win."
Cents play tomorrow night against the Wenatchee Wild, on A&W game night.