March 31, 2013 - 9:25 AM
The Penticton Vees ran their winning streak to six and kept their perfect home record intact, as they skated past the West Kelowna Warriors 5-1 Saturday night. The Vees now have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Interior Conference Final, with the series shifting to West Kelowna starting Monday.
The Vees are now 4-0 at the SOEC in the post-season, as they swept their home schedule last round against Salmon Arm. In fact, the Vees haven’t lost a home playoff game since game two of last year’s Interior Conference Final against Merritt; a run of seven games.
Unlike last night, the Vees scored early when Ryan Gropp wired a wrist-shot over the glove of Tyler Briggs just 2:35 into the game. In the dying moments of their first power-play, Gropp carried the puck in from the neutral zone and beat Briggs over the shoulder from the deep slot; Gropp’s third in as many games.
The power-play goal was the only scoring in the first period, despite both teams having lengthy five-on-three man-advantages.
Just like in game one, the Vees had a surge in the second period and again scored early. Last night Wade Murphy scored eighty seconds into the middle frame, but it only took Louie Nanne twenty-two seconds to light the lamp. Nanne picked up the puck in the left-circle and put it into an open corner for his third. Jedd Soleway was fallen in the net after he lost an edge when he was driving the net. Nanne had to put the puck over Soleway and a diving Briggs.
Gropp was at it again midway through the period on another Vees power-play. The 16 year-old danced down the left-wing, undressed the defender and then setup Jedd Soleway at the top of the crease for a tap-in. Soleway steered the puck through the open legs of Briggs for his fourth at 10:12.
Brad McClure capped off the Vees scoring in the frame with some fancy stick-work of his own. Rob Mann hit McClure in the slot with a pass from the boards. The Vees forward then did the near-impossible; redirecting the puck through his legs and past Briggs. McClure had his stick tucked between his legs with the blade pointing towards the net. In one fluid motion he deflected the puck passed a surprised Warriors goalie at 11:13.
Reid Simmonds got the Warriors on the score-sheet with an astute redirect of his own. Josh Monk let sail a point-shot from the right side that Simmonds tipped out of mid-air and past the glove of Chad Katunar at 19:05.
James de Haas dismissed any notions of a Warriors third period comeback attempt with another Vees power-play goal. Troy Stecher setup de Haas who’s wrist-shot from the blue-line found the back of the net through a maze of bodies; de Haas picking up his second at 15:30.
FINAL SCORE: 5-1 VEES
Power-Plays: Vees 3-7 Warriors 0-4
Three Stars: 1) Ryan Gropp 2) Louie Nanne 3) Bryan Sinz
The two teams have Easter Sunday off, before the series resumes for games three and four in West Kelowna starting on Monday, April 1st; puck drop for both is 7pm. If there is a game five, it would be back at the SOEC on Thursday, April 4th. Fans can purchase their playoff packages and single game tickets at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC, or single game tickets online at www.valleyfirsttix.com
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013