The Spruce Kings stepped up when it mattered most.
Down 1-0 midway through the 3rd period of game 7, there hadn't been much in the way of offense for the Spruce Kings, who were held to just 11 shots through the first 2 periods.
But then, with the Kings shorthanded, leading scorer and BCHL MVP finalist Ethan de Jong took off on a partial breakaway and deked Chilliwack Chiefs goalie Daniel Chenard, tucking the puck in to the open cage, which sent the 1400-plus fans at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena in to a frenzy.
The Prince George faithful hadn't had much to cheer for up until that point of the game, but they were on their feet just a minute and 22 seconds of game time later when defenceman Jay Keranen potted the go-ahead goal.
Just like that, the Spruce Kings had a 2-1 lead that they wouldn't give up, and added an empty netter to take game 7 by a score of 3-1, eliminating the Chiefs from the playoffs.
It was Keranen's second game winning goal of the series, after the shutdown defenceman was held without a single goal in the regular season.
"I don't know, it's just time and place I guess. I didn't have my offense in the regular season but I guess I found it here in the playoffs," said Keranen.
"It's incredible, I don't even know how he didn't score in the regular season. He's an unbelievable player, he's one of our top guys, defensively especially," said de Jong.
De Jong had been quiet in the series after a stellar regular season, but saved his best for last as his tying goal swung the momentum of the game, and the series.
"[The puck] kind of got away from me a little bit there but it ended up working out because the goalie bit on that and then I took it back and scored. Then the place went wild, it was pretty incredible honestly, definitely going to remember that for a long time. It was awesome," said de Jong.
The win marks the Spruce Kings' first playoff series win since the 2014/15 season. The Kings move on to take on the Surrey Eagles, with game 1 set for Friday night in Prince George.
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