CHILLIWACK - Ben Dalpe scored a pivotal power-play goal in the second and finished with three points, helping the Penticton Vees (22-7-1-3) score a 6-3 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs (7-23-1-2) Friday at Prospera Centre.
After the Chiefs erased a two-goal second period deficit in 43 seconds, Dalpe scored one of two Vees power-play goal, 60 seconds apart, propelling the Vees to their sixth straight win.
With the victory, the Vees remain three points up on the Vernon Vipers for top spot in the Interior Division and still have a game in hand on the Vipers.
Travis Blanleil was the only player to score in the opening period, despite the two teams combining for 28 shots. Blanleil was at the right place, at the right time, when he buried a rebound past Spencer Tremblay in the Chiefs crease at 13:46. Cody DePourcq had his shot from the left-circle deflect off a Chiefs defender and right across to Blanleil at the far-post, who picked up his seventh of the season.
Olivier Mantha was excellent in the first period for the Vees, stopping all 18 shots he faced, highlighted by stopping Chilliwack’s Austin Plevy on a breakaway with a dazzling right-pad save.
In the second, the Vees doubled their lead on an individual effort by Jack Ramsey. Max Coatta found Ramsey on the right-wing, who then stepped side-stepped the defender in the circle, before sliding the puck through Tremblay’s legs at 5:19; his second in as many games.
The Chiefs pushed back three-minutes later when Jake Hand converted on a rebound during a Chiefs power-play. Olivier Mantha stopped both Kiefer McNaughton and Andrew Silard, but the puck came out to Hand, who’s wrist-shot from the left-circle found its way in at 8:33; the goal triggering the Chiefs Teddy Bear Toss.
After the bears were cleaned up off the ice, the Chiefs came right back at the Vees and leveled the game at two’s. Carter Cochrane picked up the puck at the Vees blue-line and skated down the middle, before lifting a wrist-shot over and out-stretched Mantha at 9:16; the Chiefs scoring twice in just 43 seconds.
However, the Vees pushed back, turning the game around during a five-on-three man-advantage. Ben Dalpe put the visitors back out ahead after he redirected a sweet feed from Brad McClure. McClure found Dalpe camped-out at the back-post, who just got enough of his stick on a hard pass for the redirect at 12:21. Sixty seconds later, on the ensuing five-on-four power-play, Steen Cooper tipped a Paul Stoykewych point-shot up and over Tremblay’s glove, restoring the Vees two-goal lead.
16-year-old call up Mitch Newsome added to the Vees lead a minute and a half after that, as he tapped-in a pass at the top of the crease. Alex Coulombe sent a shot from the wall towards the net, which was first redirected by Brendan Lamont. The puck then darted over to Newsome who had a tap-in for his first BCHL goal at 14:50.
Max Coatta showed-off his hand-eye coordination in the third, when he batted a puck out of the air eight-minutes in. Dalpe came down the left-wing and tried to send the puck over to Coatta. His pass ramped off the defender’s stick, but Coatta timed it perfectly, whacking the puck into the back of the net at 7:56.
Andrew Silard got one back for the Chiefs when he buried from the slot on a power-play at 11:01.
Final Score: 6-3 Vees
Shots: 43-39 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 2-5 Chilliwack 2-4
Three Stars: 1) Ben Dalpe 2) Jack Ramsey 3) Andrew Silard
Record: 22-7-1-3 (48 points) / Road: 9-5-1-1
Ben Dalpe finished with a game-high three points (1-2-3) and extended his point streak to eight games in the process; he was named First Star. Jack Ramsey scored his second in as many games and now has four goals in his last six. Six different Vees scored in the win and 12 finished with at least a single point. Olivier Mantha made 36 saves for his eleventh win of the season and third straight. The win improves the Vees record to 4-3-1-1 against the Mainland Division.
The Vees continue their weekend road trip with a stop in Duncan Saturday, to face the Cowichan Valley Capitals at the Island Savings Centre. It’s Steen Cooper’s first game back in Cowichan Valley, since the trade two weeks ago from Cowichan Valley that saw him land in Penticton; puck drop is 7pm.