PENTICTON – As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The Penticton Vees nine game win streak was snapped by the Nanaimo Clippers Saturday, in a 3-0 shutout loss at the SOEC.
It was the Vees’ first loss in nearly a month, as their only other loss this season came way back on September 17th in Port Alberni.
Evan DeBrouwer was the star of the night, as the Clippers’ puck-stopper turned aside all 46-shots fired his way by the Vees. Not surprisingly, DeBrouwer was named the games’ first star.
Tristan Crozier, Will LeNeave and Spencer Hewson (empty-net) scored for the Clippers, who are the first road team to grab a win at the SOEC this season.
Mat Robson was saddled with just his second loss of the season, as the Vees’ goaltender turned aside 15 of 17 shots.
The only goal in the first period came with just over five-minutes left, after Crozier capitalized on a fortuitous bounce at the side of the Vees’ net. Adam Pilotte’s point-shot missed, but it caromed off the backboards and back out to Crozier at the opposite side of the net. The Clippers’ forward had an easy tap-in for his seventh at 14:31.
Penticton turned up the pressure in the second, outshooting the Clippers by an 18-2 margin but couldn’t manufacture an equalizer. Despite being outshot 28-8 through 40-minutes, Nanaimo would carry a 1-0 lead into the third period.
One of the Vees’ best chances to tie it in the middle frame came when Ty Amonte fired a dart to the crease but Turner Ripplinger had the pass go off his skate and wide; an excruciating miss opportunity with an open net.
The game’s turning point came early in the third when the Clippers managed to doubled their lead four-minutes in. After the Vees had a chance at one end of the rink, the Clippers came back down the other way and eventually capitalized.
After an initial pass attempt was blocked, Spencer Hewson found an open LeNeave at the far-post and he tapped in his second of the season at 4:04.
Shortly after that goal the Vees’ Jared Nash and Nanaimo’s Adam Pilotte dropped the gloves, and engaged in a feisty scrap. The two combatants went toe-to-toe, exchanging a flurry of left hands but neither went down.
However, Penticton was unable to use that fight to spark a comeback. Nanaimo eventually iced the win inside the final minute with an empty-net goal by Hewson at 19:39.
Highlighting DeBrouwer 46-save performance was his goal-line stop on Ty Barnstable late. The Vees forward tried to shovel a rebound across the line but DeBrouwer managed to fan out and smother the puck under his arm.
FINAL SCORE: 3-0 Clippers
Shots: 46-17 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 0-4 Nanaimo 0-5
Three Stars: 1) Evan DeBrouwer 2) Nicholas Jones 3) Will LeNeave
With the loss, the Vees’ record drops to 11-2-0-0 and their home record slips to 4-1-0-0 (one win at the BCHL Showcase). Nicholas Jones also had his 10-game point streak come to an end in the shutout loss.
The Vees are now off until next Friday, Oct. 21, when they pay a visit to the Merritt Centennials; puck drop is 7 p.m.