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RBC Cup: Vees clip Thunderbirds in round robin finale

Image Credit: Hockey Canada/Andy Devlin
May 15, 2015 - 8:36 AM

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. - Pat Newell doubled-down in the Penticton Vees Robin-Robin finale Thursday, as the diminutive forward picked four points and Player of the Game honours, in the Vees 5-2 win over the Soo Thunderbirds at the PCU Centre.

Newell scored twice and added two helpers in the win, as the Vees finished the RBC Cup Round-Robin with a 3-1-0 record, May 14. Steen Cooper and Tyson Jost added singles, as the Vees kept their first place aspirations alive with the win.

The Vees would clinch top spot if Portage doesn’t win in regulation in the nightcap against Melfort.

Cooper opened the scoring seven and a half minutes in the first, when he sprung himself on a partial breakaway. Cooper took the puck away from a Soo defenseman at center and turned back the other way, before sliding a backhand underneath Mario Culina at 7:28; his second goal in as many games.

The Vees added to their lead early in the second, as Newell bagged his first of two in the period ninety-seconds in. Newell fired a shot past the blocker of Culina from the right-wing circle on a chip pass from Demico Hannoun at 1:29.

Newell then made it 3-0 later in the period on a crafty power-play goal. Newell took a no-look, backhand pass, from Connor Chartier and buried the nifty pass into an open net at 6:23.

The T-Birds cut into the deficit midway through the second after Brett Jeffries capitalized on a turnover. The Vees couldn’t get the puck out past their blue-line and Jeffries fired a shot through Hunter Miska’s legs at 13:02.

Jeffries was at it again early in the second, as he redirected a point-shot up and over Miska’s blocker eighty-eight seconds into the third, to cut the deficit to one.

The Vees called a timeout shortly thereafter and it seemed to settle them down, as they scored two power-play goals to stamp out the T-Birds comeback attempt.

Jost made got the two-goal lead back three-minutes later, as he picked the corner after Newell dished the puck out front from behind the net; Jost getting his second of the tournament at 3:55.

Dakota Conroy put the game on ice late in the third on the Vees third power-play goal of the afternoon. Hannoun, from the corner, spotted Conroy in front and he tapped the centering feed between the goalie’s legs at 16:45.

Final Score: 5-2 Vees

Shots: 42-22 Vees

Power-Plays: Vees 3-6 Soo Thunderbirds 0-3

The Vees are awaiting the outcome of the Melfort-Portage game on Thursday night, to see where they finish in the Round-Robin standings. The Vees need Melfort to win or force overtime to secure first place; a Portage regulation win clinches them top spot.

The Vees will be playing next on Saturday, May 17th, in one of the two RBC Cup Semi-Finals. The team will release their Semi-Final schedule as soon as it’s finalized.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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