October 5, 2013, PENTICTON, BC –A new look energy line provided just that for the Penticton Vees Saturday, in a 6-2 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at the SOEC.
Matt Serratore, playing on the “trench line” in place of the injured Cam Amantea, made the most of the opportunity. Serratore scored his BCHL goal and finished with two points and he and his line-mates Travis Blanleil and Cody DePourcq, combined for four goals and seven points.
The Vees exploded for four first-period goals but it was the Bulldogs doing their best to be rude guests. Former Vernon Viper Craig Martin, playing in his second game as a Bulldog, opened the scoring at 7:02. Justin Georgeson muscled his way to the left-circle before dishing out to Martin in the slot who beat Hunter Miska over the blocker.
After the one-minute media timeout, the Vees roared to life, scoring six goals in a six minute span. Brad McClure brought the Vees back on even terms when he picked the corner on an odd-man rush. Riley Alferd chipped the puck ahead to McClure, who broke down the left-wing and rifled a shot from the circle over Brad Rebagliati’s glove at 11:39; the Captain’s fifth.
Three minutes later Cody DePourcq put the Vees ahead when he scored his first of two in the opening frame. Chris Rygus threw a wrist-shot from the point towards the net. DePourcq, camped out between the circles with his back to the goal, tipped the puck through his legs and past Rebagliati at 11:39.
Three and a half minutes later DePourcq’s line-mate put the Vees up by a pair. Matt Serratore moved into the right-circle and put a wrist-shot on goal. Rebagliati fought the shot off with his blocker but the rebound fell right to Blanleil for a tap-in at 16:12.
DePourcq was at it again less than two minutes later, doing his best Blanleil impression, as he scored his second on a near identical play. Blanleil’s backhand was stopped right off the face-off but DePourcq was standing at the post to shovel the rebound in at 17:59.
When the dust settled, the Vees after trailing by one seven minutes into the game, scored four goals in the final eight minutes of the first, taking a 4-1 lead into the intermission. Tyger Howat would replace Bulldogs starter Brad Rebagliati to start second period.
After a five-goal first period in which both teams combined for 29 shots, the second period past without a goal and the two teams mustered a combined 13 shots on net. Despite only putting four shots on goal in the middle frame, the Vees spent long stretches inside the Bulldogs zone, as their cycle game caused the ‘Dogs fits.
The Vees pushed their lead to five in the early stages of the third when they scored twice in 45 seconds. Ben Dalpe scored his team leading third power-play goal after finishing off a pretty passing play. Ryan Gropp slung the puck down to the goal-line to Brad McClure, who quickly zipped a cross-crease pass to Dalpe for the tap-in at 2:46.
Seconds later Matt Serratore potted his first career BCHL goal after some good fore-check pressure below the goal-line. Cody DePourcq stole the puck behind the net and fed Serratore at the near-post, who roofed his shot over Howat at 3:31.
Mak Barden got one back for the Bulldogs just before the eight-minute mark, when he cashed-in on a rebound in the crease.
Final Score: 6-2 Vees
Shots: 30-27 Vees
Power-Play: Vees 1/3 Bulldogs 0/4
Three Stars: 1) Matt Serratore 2) Cody DePourcq 3) Travis Blanleil
The Vees are now a perfect 4-0 at home* and against the Island Division. In their three games at the SOEC this season, the Vees have outscored the opposition 15-3. Hunter Miska stopped 26 of 27 shots for his fourth win and second against the Bulldogs. *One home game at the BCHL Bauer Showcase.
The win pushes the Vees record to 7-3-0-0 as they remain one point back of the West Kelowna Warriors for top spot in the Interior Division. Tonight marked the first of five straight home games for the Vees and the home stand continues Friday, October 11th, when they welcome the Prince George Spruce Kings to the SOEC. The Vees dropped a 4-3 decision to Prince George back on September 20th; puck drop is slated for 7pm. Tickets are available at the Valley First Box Office or online, at www.valleyfirsttix.com