Even without the likes of Kyle Johnson, Layton Ahac, and Ethan de Jong, the Prince George Spruce Kings found a way to play one of their best games of the season as they dominated the Salmon Arm Silverbacks by a score of 3-0.

Saturday’s victory was led by forward Dustin Manz who notched a goal and an assist along with a 23-save shoutout from netminder Bradley Cooper.

The Spruce Kings are now 5-1 on an eight-game home-stand, which continues next weekend against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Wenatchee Wild.

Cooper believes the team’s expectation of winning is carrying over into their play.

“We want to go in with the idea that were going to win and if you believe it will happen than most of the time things will go right and I think it is something we have been developing and that has been a huge help.”

Prince George heavily outshot the Silverbacks 36-22 overall, including a 16-4 margin in the second period.

Salmon Arm goaltender Kyle Dumba held the fort for as long as could until Jarod Hovde tapped a home a deflection early in the third to give the Spruce Kings a two-goal advantage.

“We rallied behind our goaltender tonight and we knew we had to be good because we are missing three key guys and we did that, we came out hard and did the job,” says Hovde.

“Right off the start we came at them hard and kept it simple we did what we thought was best to win the game and we executed our game plan.”

Ben Brar notched the empty-netter for Prince George.

Twenty-year-old defender Tyson Slater played for the first time since being acquired from the Bulldogs on Friday for Luc Salem.

Cariboo Cougars defenceman Brennan Malgunas also got called up due to the shortage of bodies along with forward Tyler Schleppe.

The game also marked the return of former Spruce King Tanner Campbell and Cariboo Cougar grad Trey Thomas.

Prince George improves to 16-10-2-3 on the season and are now three points back of the Langley Rivermen for top spot in the BCHL’s Mainland Division after they lost 5-2 to the Cowichan Valley Capitals.