PENTICTON - Nic Jones had a pair of goals in the first period and the Penticton Vees never looked back, blanking the visiting Victoria Grizzlies 5-0, at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Saturday, Feb. 20.
Jones’ deuce in the first was part of a three-goal opening period for the Vees, who cruised to their ninth straight win and second in three weeks over the Grizzlies. Easton Brodzinski, Demico Hannoun and Tyson Jost also scored for Penticton, who are still perfect in February.
Zach Driscoll stopped all 20 shots he faced from Victoria shooters, picking up his 20th win and fourth shutout of the season.
Jones opened the scoring eight and half minutes into the game, on the Vees’ first power-play, banging in a rebound out front. Brodzinski was stopped at the side of the goal but the puck came back to Jones who buried into an open net at 8:37.
Penticton added two more late in first, as Brodzinski and Jones scored less than three-minutes apart. First, Brodzinski finished off a pretty passing play, scoring on a backdoor pass from Chris Gerrie. Scott Conway started the play by stripping the puck from a Grizzlies’ defenseman, before Gerrie setup Brodzinski at 15:32; his 29th. Then, Jones bagged his second of the period on a nice pass from behind the net.
Mitch Brooks dished out front to Jones, who was the benefited from the puck kicking-off a defenders skate and right to him in front. Jones snapped it in short-side for his 18th at 18:17.
Victoria Starter Matthew Galajda was pulled after the first in favour of Mitchel Benson, and he was valiant in defeat, stopping 29 of 31 over the final two periods.
Hannoun added to the lead midway through the middle frame after a great individual effort from the Captain. Tyson Jost weaved his way through traffic and into the Grizzlies zone, before setting up Hannoun for the one-timer at 8:40; his second in as many games.
The score remained unchanged until the final half-minute of the third period, when Jost scored on a late game five-on-three. Jones, who had a handful of chances for the hat-trick, put his playmaker hat on, threading the needle to Jost at the far-post, who went upstairs for his 39th at 19:34.
Final Score: 5-0 Vees
Shots: 41-20 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 2-5 Grizzlies 0-5
Three Stars: 1) Nic Jones 2) Tyson Jost 3) Griffin Mendel
Saturday was Driscoll’s fourth shutout of the season and the Vees’ sixth as a team and first since January 1st, when they blanked Vernon 6-0. Both Scott Conway and Tyson Jost extended their point streaks to 20 and 13 games respectively. Conway remains five points ahead of Nanaimo’s Sheldon Rempal for top spot in the BCHL scoring race. The Vees also moved into a tie for the second-most wins in a season, in franchise history, with 48.
Penticton (48-6-1-0) host the Surrey Eagles Wednesday, in the team’s regular season home finale at the SOEC; face-off is 7 pm. The team will be raffling off a 2004 Nissan Murano and immediately following the game, is the team’s annual awards presentation.