PENTICTON, BC –The Penticton Vees bumped their two-game slump Saturday night, downing the Powell River Kings 3-1 at the SOEC, in their annual Teddy Bear Toss game.
Chris Klack tied the game midway through the first to trigger the avalanche of stuffed toys, and Ty Amonte and Grant Cruikshank also scored in regulation, as the Vees pick up their second win against Powell River this season.
Johan Steen opened the scoring early in the first for the visitors but Penticton went on to score three unanswered goals to end the weekend on a winning note.
Penticton rode a very strong penalty-kill Saturday, as they kept the Kings fifth ranked power-play off the scoresheet, killing-off all seven of their power-plays. A big key to the penalty-kill was Mat Robson, who made 20-saves for his 19th win of the season.
Coming off back-to-back losses, it wasn’t the start the Vees envisioned, as Steen put Powell River up 1-0 just four in a half minutes into the game. Cam Donaldson took the puck away from James Miller down-low, and centered for Steen who scored on the one-timer at 4:24.
However, bears and stuffed toys soon rained down on the ice, as Klack pulled the Vees back level. Just before the 10-minute mark, Klack jammed in a rebound in front of the Kings net as bags of toys came cascading down on the ice; Klack picking up his ninth at 9:55.
The delay that ensued to clean up the ice didn’t faze the Vees, as they picked up where they left off before the pause in play. Nicholas Jones made a great play off the rush to spot Cruikshank with a drop pass, before he ripped a wrist-shot past the goalie’s blocker at 16:25 to put the Vees ahead for the first time. Despite surrendering an early goal, the Vees took a 2-1 lead in the first intermission.
Penticton came storming out in the second and padded their lead moment into the middle frame.
Cruikshank made a great pass up the middle to spring Ty Amonte on a breakaway from the Kings’ blue-line. Amonte quickly split the two defenceman before putting a quick deke past a sprawled out Brian Wilson 25-seconds in; his fourth goal in the last three games.
That’s all the offense the Vees needed, as their penalty-kill was the highlight of the third period, killing-off four Kings’ power-plays, including a lengthy 5-on-3 man-advantage.
Final Score: 3-1 Vees
Shots: 30-21 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 0-6 Kings 0-7
Three Stars: 1) Chris Klack 2) Ty Amonte 3) Nicholas Jones
The win improves the Vees’ record to 24-5-0-1 and their home record is now 10-2-0-1. They also sweep the two-game season series against the Kings, as they beat Powell River 3-1 back on September 16th. In fact, Saturday was the Vees’ ninth straight regular season win against Powell River going back five years.
Defencemen James Miller, Griffin Mendel and Jonny Tychonick now head off Sunday for Team Canada West Selection Camp in Alberta, for the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge. The camp runs December 4th-8th in Leduc, Alberta.
Penticton is back in action on Wednesday, December 7th, when they face the Vernon Vipers at the SOEC; puck drop is 7 PM. It’s another “Wicked Wednesday,” as tickets are just $5 and draft beer is only $3.75 and fountain is just $2.50. Fans can purchase their tickets at the Valley First box office (at the SOEC).