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HomeNewsSchrott's overtime winner caps off late-game surge against Langley

Schrott’s overtime winner caps off late-game surge against Langley

Down but not out.

Staring a 4-1 deficit in the face, the Prince George Spruce Kings picked themselves off the mat and completed a comeback of epic proportions.

A three-goal third period followed by the overtime winner from Skogen Schrott capped off a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Langley Rivermen on Wednesday in front of 638 fans at the Kopar Memorial Arena.

“I picked up the puck in the corner, sort of wheeled it around the net and saw a lane to shoot and it ended up going in. It was a tough second – we said we were going to regroup and came out with a huge push and that is what the guys did. It was a character win for the boys and hopefully we can take that momentum and go forward with it,” said Schrott post-game to the media.

Right from the opening shift of the third, the Spruce Kings looked like a team possessed and were rewarded handsomely for their efforts. At 4:44 of the third, overage forward JR Perdion buried a rebound past Rivermen goalie Liam Hallett trimming the deficit to 4-2.

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Less than two minutes later, Lucas Veilleux rippled the mesh as he accepted a short pass just outside the slot making no mistake against Hallett.

Photo credit Chuck Chin

After the goal, Langley head coach and general manger Burt Henderson called a timeout to rally his troops, but to no avail.

Kai Greaves pulled PG back onto even terms as a screen set up by Cournoyer allowed his put to go undetected and through the wickets of Hallett to even the score at 4-4. It was the 20-year-old blueliner’s first of the season.

“I saw Alexi had the puck down low and he’s a great player who can really find guys even if the opening is pretty small but he found me up at the blueline and I tried to get one on net and luckily it went in,” said Greaves.

“It’s a good league, you have to appreciate all the victories and to win a gritty game like today where maybe we got a little bit lucky at some points and then to win a game like we did on Saturday (against Surrey) where we played really well – it’s nice to string two wins like that.”

If that wasn’t enough adversity, the Spruce Kings were forced to kill a Jared Langdon double-minor for high-sticking shortly after a game-saving stop by Ryan Sanborn.

Both teams found themselves tied 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. Rivermen rookie Lincoln Hjelm drew first blood as his point shot down the far wing went over the shoulder of Sanborn for a 1-0 edge. It was the first BCHL goal for the 17-year-old out of Omaha, Nebraska.

Killian McGregor-Bennett evened the score for the Spruce Kings on the man advantage taking advantage of a Greaves set up.

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The wheels came off for Prince George in the second as Langley lit the lamp three consecutive times.

On a broken play, towering defenseman Luke Ashton buried a feed from Ewen Rennie past Sanborn.

Ethan Riesterer added to the Rivermen lead as he sent what looked to be an innocent looking shot past an unsuspecting Sanborn for a 3-1 lead.

The run of bad luck continued for the Spruce Kings. At the 12:53 mark, Vitaly Levyy capped off a transition rush that was started by Rennie. A sprawled out Sanbron made the initial stop but was unable to grab the rebound from Levyy.

“We looked around in the crowd and I thought we were letting the fans down with our performance in the first two periods and realized a lot of people pay money to come watch us and we put together a performance that we can be proud of and that they are happy to see when they go home.” added Greaves.

Prince George went 1-for-3 on the power-play while Langley went 0-for-5.

The Rivermen outshot the Spruce Kings 34-30.

Scott Cousins and Trent Ballantyne did not dress for the BCHL’s most northern franchise due to illness.

Earlier in the day, it was announced that Japanese born forward and rookie Spruce King Kazumo Sasaki will play for Japan at the IIHF U-20 World Division 1 Championship in Budapest, Hungary starting December 10th.

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If Japan advances, they will be bumped up into the main draw for the 2025 World Junior Hockey Championship, which is to be held in Ottawa, Ontario.

In addition, the Spruce Kings also signed local product and Okanagan Hockey Academy defenseman Brody Martin for the 2024-25 season.

He is the son of former Spruce Kings forward Chris Martin who played three seasons for the franchise in the mid-to-late 1990’s in both the BCHL and the now-defunct Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League.

The elder Martin also played four games for the Prince George Cougars in 1994-95 and also spent time with the Calgary Hitmen amassing 20 points in 35 games in 95-96.

PG (7-11-3-0) hits the road for a pair of games through the Interior starting Friday against the top-ranked Penticton Vees (16-1-2-2) followed by a Saturday tilt against the Vernon Vipers (15-6-1-0) who are second in the conference.

On Wednesday, Penticton defeated the Trail Smoke Eaters 5-0 while Vipers fell 4-1 at home to the West Kelowna Warriors.

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