October 18, 2013, PENTICTON, BC (ISN) –The Penticton Vees were determined not to let their special teams fail them a second consecutive night, as they gutted out a 3-2 win over the West Kelowna Warriors at the SOEC Friday.
After both the power-play and penalty-kill struggled in a loss Wednesday to Merritt, the Vees rode a strong special team’s performance Friday against the Tribe. The power-play scored twice and the penalty-kill was a perfect seven for seven, as the Vees took the first of seven meetings with their South Okanagan rivals.
Despite the special teams’ story line, it was the Warriors opening the scoring in the first at even strength; or rather the Vees scoring on themselves. During a battle for a loose puck in the Vees crease, a defender inadvertently punched the puck over the goal-line at 13:40. The puck squirted loose from underneath Olivier Mantha’s pad and as a Vees player tried in desperation to swat it off the goal-line, he accidently pushed the puck in the net; the Warriors Jason Cotton credited with the goal.
A scary incident in the second helped swung the momentum in the Vees favour. Ben Dalpe collided knee-on-knee with the Warriors Ryan Ivey at the West Kelowna blue-line just six-minutes into the frame. After some deliberation by the officials, Ivey was assessed a five-minute kneeing major and a game misconduct; Dalpe would not return until the third period.
The Vees had five minutes of power-play time to work with but only needed twenty-six seconds to draw even. Paul Stoykewych snuck his shot from the right-wing boards through traffic and past the blocker of the Warriors Andy Desautels at 6:52; his second of the season and second in three games.
The power-play produced the go-ahead goal for the Vees six minutes later, largely in part of the work by Brett Beauvais. Starting out from his own zone, Beauvais dashed into the Warriors end, slipped by the defender but had his shot stopped by Desautels. However, Beauvais quickly pounced on the rebound and tucked it up under the cross-bar at 11:43; his second and first in ten games.
The buzz didn’t last long, as the Warriors took advantage of a bad Vees line change to level the game at two’s late in the second period. Just sixty seconds after going ahead 2-1, the Vees were burned by a slow line change, as Adam Plant found an open Jason Cotton behind the Vees defense, who roofed his second of the game over Mantha’s glove at 18:43.
It went bad to worse for the Vees just after surrendering a one-goal lead; they took two quick penalties at the end of the period. The Warriors started the third period with a five-on-three power-play for nearly ninety seconds but couldn’t capitalize thanks to superb goaltending and key shot blocking.
The Vees finally pulled ahead for good midway through the period when the Captained picked the corner on an odd-man rush. Cam Amantea forced a turnover in the neutral zone by laying his shoulder in the puck carrier, which led to McClure going the other way and rifling a wrist-shot from the left-circle over Desautels glove at 9:09; his team-leading ninth and third game-winning goal this season.
Score: 3-2 Vees
Shots: 27-23 Warriors
Power-Play: Vees 2/3 Warriors 0/7
Three Stars: 1) Brett Beauvais 2) Jason Cotton [Warriors] 3) Brad McClure
The Vees push their record to 10-3-0-1 with Friday’s win and move into top spot in in the Interior Division and now are tied with Powell River for first place in the BCHL overall standings. The win moves the Vees home record to 6-0-0-1 and finish their home stand with nine out of a possible ten points. The Vees and Warriors don’t meet again until November 15th.
The Vees look to snap a three-game road losing streak tomorrow, when they travel to Langley to face the Mainland Division leading Rivermen at the Langley Events Centre; face-off is 7:15pm. The Rivermen were idle Friday but sport an impressive 9-4-0-1 record through fifteen games.