The battle of the top two teams to conclude preliminary action at the National Junior A Championship certainly didn’t disappoint.

In front of a standing room only crowd at the Centennial Regional Arena, the Brooks Bandits exacted revenge on the Prince George Spruce Kings winning by a 3-1 score on Thursday, running the table heading into Saturday’s semi-final matchup.

“We came out with a slow third period. I got that one late and we had all the momentum going into the intermission and I think we only put up four or five shots in the third period and I don’t think that is good enough so I think we needed to come out with a stronger third and that was the story tonight,” said Nick Poisson to MYPGNOW.

“I think the game meant a bit more to them because they were playing on home ice. They have been good at home all year long and I think that is something they take pride in the same we take pride in playing in front of our fans.”

The Bandits opened the scoring in the first period as Carter Wolski shot a squeaker past the short side of Prince George netminder Logan Neaton.

Nick Poisson continued to ride the hot stick for the Spruce Kings late in the middle frame re-directing a Dylan Anhorn point shot past Bandits goalie Pierce Charleson.

In the third, Andrew Lucas played the hero for the Bandits tipping home a rebound past Neaton to re-take the lead.

Brandon Scanlin added the empty-netter for the hosts.

“I like how we played, I believe it was similar to games two and three that were here against a real hard team to play against in Prince George and I think we are a hard team to play against here so it’s fun to be back at home but they do present a huge challenge for us,” said Ryan Papaioannou, Bandits Head Coach and GM.

“When you lose three in a row like we did against them after just losing three times all season it shook our guys a little bit.”

Prince George now gets ready for its semi-final matchup against the Oakville Blades from the CRA at 6pm while Bandits elected to play the early semi-final at 1pm against the Ottawa Junior Senators.

MYPGNOW’s Brendan Pawliw is providing extensive coverage of the tournament.

PG SPRUCE KINGS NATIONAL SCHEDULE:

Sunday, May 12th: PG Spruce Kings vs. Oakville Blades (1:00 PT) 5-1 win
Monday, May 13th: PG Spruce Kings vs. Ottawa Jr. Senators (6:00 PT) 4-0 win
Wednesday, May 15th: PG Spruce Kings vs. Portage Terriers (6:00 PT) 5-1 win
Thursday, May 16th: PG Spruce Kings vs. Brooks Bandits (6:00 PT) 3-1 loss

The final goes Sunday, May 19th at 2:00 p.m. PT.