MERRITT - One night after the penalty-kill received all the accolades, it was the Penticton Vees’ power-play flexing its muscle Saturday, Oct. 31 in Merritt. The Vees scored five power-plays goals in their 8-4 drubbing of the Centennials at Nicola Valley Arena on Halloween Night.
The win is the Vees 17th straight, which ties their second longest win streak in franchise history. Easton Brodzinski scored a hat-trick and Tyson Jost scored twice and finished with four points. Newcomer Nicholas Jones had four assists in the win, and Luke Voltin, Scott Conway and Demico Hannoun also scored in the Vees victory.
Anthony Brodeur picked up his 11th win in as many starts, turning aside 23 of 27 shots. Brodeur made a pair of highlight reel saves in the first, including a flashy glove-save off of Ryan Forbes.
Colin Grannary picked up a hat-trick in the loss for the Centennials and Colten Lancaster stopped 34 of 41 shots in the Merritt net.
The Vees jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with Voltin and Jost scoring in the first six-minutes. Voltin scored just 83-seconds in after he capitalized on a turnover right in front of the Merritt net; his first as a Vee and second of the year. Jost doubled the Vees lead on the power-play, collecting his own rebound and beating Lancaster at 6:19.
Merritt stormed back however, as Grannary scored twice inside the final four-minutes to tie the game up at two. Granny cut into the deficit at 16:15 when he cleaned up a rebound at the side of the net. Then he tied it on the power-play, rifling a one-timer short-side at 18:03.
The Cents’ forwarded completed the natural hat-trick early in the second, scoring off a turnover 56-seconds into the frame, to give the Cents’ their first and what turned out to be, their only lead of the game.
The Merritt lead was short lived as Demico Hannoun tied it 30-seconds after Grannary’s third goal. Voltin dished it to Hannoun and from the bottom of the circle, and hammered a one-timer upstairs; his third of the season.
It turned out to be an eventful second period, as the two teams combined for five goals in 20-minutes.
Brodzinski put the Vees back ahead three-minutes later on another power-play. Conway fed Brodzinski between the circles and he went low on the far-side at 4:20; his first of three.
The back and forth continued, as Mitch Lipon tied the game at four just over a minute after Brodzinski’s power-play marker. Lipon walked down the middle and blasted a slap-shot over Brodeur’s glove at 5:34. But Penticton’s had an answer for that goal too.
Late in the second, on another man-advantage, Conway took a pass from behind the net and put a one-timer through a small opening up high from the left-wing at 16:16; his team-leading 16th.
That lead would hold up for good, as the Vees scored three more times in the third to pull away.
Brodzinski scored two more in the third, both on the power-play, his second coming at 5:44. Jost went circle-to-circle on a cross-ice pass and the St. Cloud State recruit buried into the open net.
Then Jost played a “trick” on the Centennials and “treated” himself to his second goal of the game. The Vees Captain took the puck away from a Merritt forward at their blue-line and went in alone and beat Lancaster at 8:15; his 15th.
Jost and Brodzinski teamed up again on the Vees final goal, as the Captain passed from the goal-line out front to Brodzinski for another one-timer, on another power-play at 10:35; Brodzinski’s 14th.
Final Score: 8-4 Vees
Shots: 41-27 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 5-7 Merritt 1-4
Three Stars: 1) Colin Grannary 2) Easton Brodzinski 3) Nicholas Jones
Nicholas Jones now has two goals and six points in his first two games as a Vee. Conway extended his point streak to 17-games with his three points. Jost took over the scoring lead in the BCHL with his four-point night. He now has 15 goals and 38 points in 18 games, once scoring changes are accounted for; Conway has a share of second place with 36 points. Brodzinski has climbed into the top 10 with 23 points.
The Vees (17-1-0-0) head to Trail tomorrow afternoon to face the Smoke Eaters at Cominco Arena, looking to sweep their three-game weekend; face-off is 3 pm. The Vees beat Trail 5-3 back on October 14th in Penticton. Fans can listen to the game on EZ Rock AM 800, or they can watch online at www.fasthockey.com.