September 30, 2012, Penticton, BC – The Penticton Vees survived a late third period surge by the Prince George Spruce Kings, as they grinded out a 4-3 win Sunday afternoon; their fourth in a row and seventh overall.
Prince George opened the scoring in the first, as Liam Board banked a puck off the back of Chad Katunar at 3:43; the first time in four games the Vees surrendered the opening goal. The lead didn’t last long however, as James de Haas evened the game at one’s at 7:20; de Haas let go a hard point-shot that zipped past Liam McLeod.
The Vees went to work early in the second, grabbing their first lead of the game on the power-play. Sam Mellor, like de Haas, scored from the point just 31 seconds into the middle frame. Mellor’s shot beat McLeod over his right-shoulder, as the Vees provided a heavy screen in front. Mike Rebry added to the Vees lead, scoring his first of two on an odd play from centre ice.
In the neutral zone, just over the red-line, Rebry dumped the puck in off the end-boards. The puck jumped back into the Spruce Kings crease and off McLeod’s skate at 10:36; the Vees up 3-1 after two periods, despite only registering six shots on net in the stanza.
Midway through the third, Rebry padded the Vees lead on a short-handed penalty-shot. Rebry was taken down by Cam Lawson just inside the PG blue-line, after he intercepted a puck a centre. Rebry skated in down the right-wing and put the puck under the pad of McLeod for the short-handed marker at 12:12.
The Spruce Kings didn’t quit however, roaring to life late in the third, scoring twice in 40 seconds to make it a one goal game. Chad Staley put a back-hand through the legs of Chad Katunar at 17:19, and Lyndon Martell scored on a back-door pass at 17:49; the Vees clinging to a one goal lead with 2:11 left. However, that’s as close as the Spruce Kings would get on Sunday, as the Vees held off the PG attack in the final moments to win their fourth straight.
FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Vees
Shots: 28-23 Spruce Kings
Power-Plays: Vees 1/5 Spruce Kings 0/3
Three Stars: 1) Mike Rebry 2) Sam Mellor 3) Liam Board
With an assist Sunday, Wade Murphy extended his point streak to five games; Rebry’s two points pushes his streak to four. Rebry takes over the team goal-scoring lead with five.
The win is the Vees fourth in a row, and for the second straight weekend they sweep their schedule. The Vees now have 14 points through eight games and have a five point lead on second place Merritt.
The Vees hit the ice next Friday, October 5th, when they host the Vernon Vipers at the SOEC. The Vees took the first meeting of the season 4-3 in double-overtime at the Showcase in Chilliwack. Tickets are available at the Valley First box office at the SOEC, or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com