PENTICTON - The Penticton Vees will go into the Christmas break on a winning note, after edging the West Kelowna Warriors 3-2 Saturday, Dec. 19, at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The win earned the Vees a weekend split with the Warriors and was their fifth win in six games against their rivals from up the lake.
Scott Conway, Luke Voltin and Nic Jones scored for the Vees, as they’ve yet to suffer back-to-back losses this season. Anthony Brodeur kept his undefeated record intact, turning aside 37 of 39 shots to earn the game’s first star.
Liam Blackburn and Jonathan Desbiens scored for West Kelowna who saw their three-game win streak come to end in the loss; they’re 0-2-0-1 in Penticton this season.
It wasn’t an ideal start for the home team, as they had a rough opening five minutes, as Brodeur was thrusted into action early. The 20-year-old netminder turned aside the first eight shots he faced before the Vees found their footing.
On their first power-play, Scott Conway, whose 31-game point streak ended Friday, opening the scoring just shy of the seven-minute mark. Easton Brodzinski centered for Conway who snapped a shot from the slot over the glove of the West Kelowna netminder for his 31st at 6:52; just the Vees’ third shot of the game.
The Vees added to their 1-0 lead in the second, scoring twice in the first 11 and half minutes. First, just after a Vees penalty had expired, Voltin raced down a puck on the left-wing and fired a wrist-shot from the left-circle upstairs six-minutes in. Then, five and half minutes later, Jones capitalized on a turnover down-low in the Warriors end.
Mitch Brooks kept a clearing attempt in and from the slot, he found Jones in the right-circle. Jones made a b-line for the net and fired a shot up underneath the cross-bar on the short-side at 11:29; Jones bagging his ninth.
The Vees looked to be in the clear until late in the frame when the Tribe capitalized on a miscue in the Penticton end. After failing to get the puck out, it found its way to Blackburn in front and he quickly deked around the prone Brodeur at 19:10.
In the third the visitors kept the pressure up and got within one on the power-play. Blackburn was at the center of it all again, as he spotted Desbiens on the far-side for the backdoor goal at 10:29.
Brodeur got his revenge on Desbiens later in the third, as he made a terrific save on a breakaway attempt by the speedy West Kelowna forward. Short-handed, Desbiens found himself behind the Vees defense but Brodeur flashed out the leather to get a glove on a shot labeled for the top corner.
Final Score: 3-2 Vees
Shots: 39-30 West Kelowna
Power-Plays: Vees 1-7 West Kelowna 1-6
Three Stars: 1) Anthony Brodeur 2) Luke Voltin 3) Liam Blackburn
In his last two starts against the Warriors Brodeur has stopped 82 of 84 shots and was named the game’s first star in both of those contests. The Vees are now 18-0-1-0 at home; 17-0-1-0 at the SOEC. They enter the Christmas break with a 31-4-1-0 record, 17 points on second place in the Interior Division.
The Penticton Vees would like to wish their fans, their corporate partners and everyone in the community of Penticton, a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. See you at the rink in 2016.