March 20, 2013, Salmon Arm, BC (ISN) – Ninety-one seconds highlighted the effort and sacrifice of the Penticton Vees in their four-game sweep of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Score-less in the early stages of the first, the Vees killed-off a lengthy Salmon Arm five-on-three, highlighted by great goaltending and blocked shots. The kill seemed to turn the tide in the Vees favour.
The Vees soon after scored their own power-play goal, and added three more in the first period, en route to a 5-1 victory in game four of their best-of-seven Interior Division Semi-Final; the Vees sweeping the Silverbacks.
Unlike the Silverbacks, the Vees were able to convert on their first power-play of the game. James de Haas scored his second of the series after ripping a point-shot over the glove of Adam Clark at 8:45. Brock Balson spun a backhand pass from the corner up top to de Haas who found daylight past Clark.
The game drastically turned in the Vees favour, when Alex Gillies was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game-misconduct at 12:36. Gillies stuck his knee out on Cam Amantea in the Vees zone as he was trying to move up ice.
The Vees made the most of the extended power-play, scoring twice to put the game out of reach. Ryan Gropp put the Vees up by two at 14:06 when his shot from the slot beat Clark between the legs; Gropp’s first career playoff goal and first in eight games.
Another Vee snapped a lengthy goal-less drought with another power-play goal 2:23 later. Sean Flanagan found the back of the net at 16:29 when his point shot found its way through traffic and past the Salmon Arm goaltender; Flanagan’s first goal in 19 games dating back to January 18th.
Continuing on the theme of breaking out of scoring slumps, Wade Murphy scored his first in five games inside the final two minutes of the first. Murphy took a sweet dish from Louie Nanne in stride and tapped-in his first of the playoffs at 18:27.
The Vees tacked-on one more in the middle frame, as Jedd Soleway scored his second in as many games. Soleway corralled a puck in the circle at centre, broke down the right-wing and squeezed a shot through the arm of Adam Clark on the far-side at 16:48. It was an impressive second period for the Vees, out-shooting Salmon Arm 14-5.
The third period was merely a formality, and the only blemish was Ryan Schwalbe breaking up Chad Katunar’s shutout bid. Schwalbe had a centering pass go off his leg and pass Katuanr at 3:19.
FINAL SCORE: 5-1 VEES
Shots: 40-26 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 3-6 Salmon Arm 0-3
Three Stars: 1) Ryan Gropp [1-1-2] 2) James de Haas [1-1-2] 3) Brandon Mistal
Five Vees finished with two points and nine in total found the score-sheet. Including tonight, the Vees scored first in all four games of the series and held leads after all four first periods. The Vees only trailed for twenty-four minutes and forty seconds in the entire series.
The Vees now enjoy a ten-day rest between series, as the Interior Conference Final won’t start until Friday, March 29th at the SOEC. The first two games of the best-of-seven series will take place in Penticton; both games at 7pm. The Vees will play the winner of the West Kelowna-Merritt series, which the Warriors currently lead three games to one.