November 16, 2013 - 10:43 AM
WEST KELOWNA - The Vees are finally going to get to play at home and they’re coming back with two points. Anthony Conti scored twice, including the eventual game-winner in the second, as the Penticton Vees doubled up the West Kelowna Warriors 6-3 Friday at Royal LePage Place.
Friday marked the end of a five game stretch away from the SOEC for the Vees, who will play their first home game in 22 days Saturday against Nanaimo.
Conti made his presence known in the first few minutes of Friday’s clash with the Warriors. The power-forward took a penalty not even two minutes into game and scored the opening goal six minutes later. Max Coatta tried to split the Warriors defense on a rush from the neutral zone but was stopped just inside the blue-line. Cotta however, managed to still sweep the puck towards the net where it was redirected by Conti past a surprised Andy Desautels at 7:50; Conti’s fifth and second in three games.
The Vees took a one-goal lead into the dressing room in large part to the goaltending of Hunter Miska. In the opening period, the Vees goaltender made impressive saves on Kylar Hope, Reid Simmonds and Ambrose Firkus. Miska’s best was a stick save on Simmonds, as he just got enough of the puck with the shaft of his goalie stick.
It nearly took eight minutes for the Vees to score their first goal but they managed to bag two in 47 seconds to start the second period. Max Coatta started it off, when he picked the corner from between the circles in the Warriors end at 2:20. Brett Beauvais fed Coatta from the right-wing wall and the centerman didn’t hesitate to bury his 11th.
On the very next shift Cam Amantea increased the Vees lead to three. Amantea gathered a loose puck in the neutral zone, danced down the left-wing, beat the defender wide, before stuffing the puck past the near-post at 3:07; Amantea’s fifth in six games.
Reid Simmonds cut into the deficit four minutes later when he put the finishing touches on a give-and-go inside the Vees zone. Tyson Dallman picked out Simmonds in the right-circle, who then put a wrist-shot off the arm of Miska and in at 7:11.
The Vees red-hot power-play restored their three-goal cushion four minutes after the Warriors hit the scoresheet. Brad McClure’s wrist-shot from the point was tipped by Anthony Conti who was parked in front of Desautels at 11:24; Conti’s second of the game. Coming into Friday’s contest, the Vees power-play had been operating at thirty-five percent in their last five games.
West Kelowna made things interesting late in the second and early in the third, coming back from a 4-1 deficit to make it a one-goal game. Carl Hesler kicked-off the comeback attempt during a Vees power-play late in period two. Hesler pounced on a turnover at his own blue-line, and skated down on Miska on a breakaway from the neutral zone. Hesler made a move to his back-hand and roofed a shot up and over a fallen Miska at 15:15.
The Warriors made it a one-goal game when Ryan Ivey’s shot from the boards went in off something in front and past a startled Miska. Ivey snuck down the right-wing before putting the puck into traffic in the Vees crease; Ivey credited with the goal at 3:33 of the third period.
Despite the scare, the Vees would push back and eventually pulled away in the later stages of the third period with a pair of goals. The first was a dagger, as Captain Brad McClure out-hustled two defenders in the neutral zone, and then broke towards the goal on a partial breakaway. McClure bobbled the puck momentarily before jamming the puck past the pad of Cody Porter, who replaced Andy Desautels at the start of the period; the Captain’s 15th at 18:29. Newcomer Brendan Lamont put the finishing touches on the game with an empty-net goal from the neutral zone at 19:46.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013