The Chilliwack Chiefs played their third straight solid game, but this time it didn’t result in a win.
The Chiefs out-played the Spruce Kings for three quarters of their Sunday afternoon BCHL tilt at Prospera Centre, but the visitors capitalized on some shaky Chilliwack goaltending and skated off with a misleading 5-1 win.
PG goaltender Evan DeBrouwer stopped 27 of 28 pucks as his team improved to 25-15-4-4 and moved three points ahead of Surrey for first place in the Mainland division standings.
The Chiefs slipped to 22-19-2-3 and they continue to hold fourth place in the Mainland division.
The Spruce Kings scored two goals on their first four shots on goal to chase Chilliwack netminder Mathieu Caron from the net just seven minutes and 13 seconds into this one.
Ben Brar and Ben Poisson did the damage, bringing Chiefs backup goalie Daniel Chenard on in relief.
Chenard stopped the bleeding with six first period saves and no goals against. Meanwhile, Anthony Vincent cut into the PG lead with a shorthanded snipe at the 15 minute mark. Spruce King point man Blake Hayward bobbled the puck at the blueline and Vincent took off on a rush down the right wing. PG’s Dylan Anhorn raced back, hounding Vincent all the way to the goal mouth where No. 4 shoveled the puck over the shoulder of DeBrouwer.
The teams played through a sleepy second period highlighted by one epic shift by Vincent.
With his team killing a penalty late in the middle frame, the Connecticut native lost his stick. Vincent carried on, scrambling into a shooting lane and dropping down to block a puck with his leg. Getting up in obvious pain and still no stick, Vincent threw himself in front of a second puck, taking this one off the shoulder. Not done yet, the 20 year old took another shot off the leg and would have had a fourth block had the Prince George shooter not missed.
The crowd cheered loudly as Vincent finally got to the bench.
The crowd was silenced 1:45 into period three when Dustin Manz scored the third Prince George goal, wading into the goal mouth to jam a backhand shot past Chenard.
With the wind sucked out of their sails, the Chiefs wilted down the stretch.
Manz scored again at 7:46 slipping a five hole shot through Chenard on a breakaway, and he completed the hat-trick with an empty netter to wrap up the scoring.
The three stars were Vincent (first), Manz (second) and DeBrouwer (third).
The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Vincent.