Vernon Vipers forward Jesse Lansdell tries in vain to put the puck past Prince George goalie Logan Neaton in Game 4 of the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup championship Wednesday at Kal Tire Place. Neaton finished with 18 saves as the Spruce Kings won their first-ever league title with a 3-1 win to complete a four-game sweep of the Vipers. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Lucky 13 was the charm for the Prince George Spruce Kings.

A 3-1 win over the Vernon Vipers in Game 4 of the B.C. Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup championship series Wednesday at Kal Tire Place in Vernon gave the Spruce Kings their first-ever league title in its 23-year BCHL existence.

It was Prince George’s 13th straight playoff win, capping one of the greatest runs in BCHL post-season history as the Spruce Kings went 16-1, only allowing more than two goals in a game twice. Their only blemish was a 3-0 loss (empty net goal) in Game 4 of the opening round against the Coquitlam Express.

Since Feb. 1, Prince George has gone 25-2, and will now face the Alberta champion Brooks Bandits in a slated best-of-seven Doyle Cup series, scheduled to start April 26 in Brooks.

Prince George’s win also clinched them a spot in the National Junior A Hockey Championship May 11-19 in Brooks.

As they did in the entire series – and haven’t since late in the second period of Game 4 of their league semifinal sweep of the Victoria Grizzlies – the Spruce Kings never trailed Wednesday.

Nolan Welsh opened the scoring for the champs at 9:28 of the first period, deflecting a pass from Layton Ahac past Aidan Porter on a powerplay.

Ben Poisson, who scored the Game 3 overtime winner Tuesday, notched his 13th post-season marker on another Spruce Kings powerplay at 5:14, going bar-down over Porter’s left shoulder for a 2-0 PG lead.

The Vipers, who had 18 shots in the first period of Game 3, didn’t reach 18 shots until about five minutes into the third period. Shortly after, Teddy Wooding gave Vernon life with a rocket off a shot on a powerplay that went bar-down over Spruce Kings goalie Logan Neaton, who has played every minute of the Prince George championship run.

Vernon had several great chances to tie the game but could not get the puck past Neaton and, with 39 seconds left, Patrick Cozzi scored his second of the playoffs into the empty net, causing an eruption of joy at the Spruce Kings bench.

Porter finished with 15 saves while Neaton made 18 stops in the tightest checking game of the series.

The Vipers are now 0-8 in their last two Fred Page Cup appearances. They were swept in 2014 by the Express. Vernon was seeking a league-best 13th overall championship.

 

Vernon Vipers forward Tyler Ho (right) beats Prince George defenceman Dylan Anhorn to the puck to get a shot on Logan Neaton during the BCHL Fred Page Cup championship series Wednesday at Kal Tire Place. The Spruce Kings beat the Vipers 3-1 to sweep the best-of-seven final and win their first-ever league title. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Prince George goalie Logan Neaton is mobbed by teammates Ben Brar and Dylan Anhorn after clinching the franchise’s first-ever B.C. Hockey League Fred Page Cup championship in Vernon Wednesday with a 3-1 win over the Vipers. Prince George swept the best-of-seven final in four games. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Vernon Vipers goalie Bradley Cooper (left) congratulates former teammate Logan Neaton of the Prince George Spruce Kings during the handshake line after Prince George swept the B.C. Hockey League Fred Page Cup championship series, clinching their first-ever league title with a 3-1 win in Game 4 Wednesday. Cooper was dealt to the Vipers prior to the league trade deadline. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

UPDATE: Penticton resident’s dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

Youth Wellness Gathering aims to empower, educate South Okanagan youth

The event is hosted by a non-profit located on the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) reserve July 22 & 23

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Okanagan e-scooter company foils robberies

OGO Scooters staff helped return stolen property three times in 1st week of operations in Kelowna

Olympian brings women empowerment in sports to the Okanagan

Two-time medalist Natalie Spooner joined the Girls Rock the Rink event in Kelowna

Okanagan school district monitoring McCurdy supportive housing plan debate

Top priority for board of education is to maintain safety integrity of local schools

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read