Bell’s tally salvages split for Chiefs

The Chilliwack Chiefs earned two valuable road points thanks to Rory Bell's overtime winner Saturday in Prince George.

The Chilliwack Chiefs earned a tough road split in Prince George last weekend, going toe-to-toe with their biggest Mainland division rival.

The Chiefs and Spruce Kings clashed Friday night at the Prince George Coliseum.

Chilliwack got off to a slow start.

Stephen Penner, Jeremiah Luedtke and Matthew Stief staked the Sprucies to a 3-0 lead, with two of those snipes coming on the power play. The home team led 4-0 just 12 ticks into period two after a shorthanded tally by Chad Staley.

But the Chiefs carried play for the rest of the night, making a game of it.

Tipper Higgins notched his first BCHL goal at 5:04, and Jake Larson struck 47 seconds later.

A power play goal by Craig Puffer got the Chiefs within one at 8:27, but Staley’s second of the game at 11:15 gave PG some breathing room heading into the final frame.

They needed it.

Larson’s second of the game 3:06 into period three made it 5-4.

Hanging on for dear life, the Spruce Kings got a desperately needed insurance goal at 14:32, off the stick of Justin Rai.

Mitchell Datz went the distance in goal for Chilliwack, stopping 21 of 27 shots.

Aidan Pelino took over for the Saturday rematch, backstopping his team to a 2-1 overtime win.

Prince George’s Luedtke and Chilliwack’s Larson (shorthanded) traded regulation time goals.

Rory Bell scored his first BCHL goal in dramatic fashion 4:44 into overtime as his Chiefs out-shot the Sprucies 38-24.

Prince George (5-1-0-1) holds a narrow lead in the Mainland division, one point ahead of the Chiefs (5-1-0-0).

The Langley Rivermen (2-3-0-1) are third followed by the Coquitlam Express (2-4-0-1) and Surrey Eagles (1-4-0-2).

The Chiefs have a tough weekend ahead, hosting the Merritt Centennials Friday night at Prospera Centre (7 p.m.), followed by a trip to Vernon on Saturday.

See bchl.ca for more.