Snake charmers: Vees roll over Vernon

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November 20, 2013, PENTICTON, BC (ISN) –The Penticton Vees exploded for four goals in a five minute span in the second period, en route to a 5-2 win over the Vernon Vipers, in front of a capacity crowd at the SOEC on Wednesday. With the win, the Vees leap-frog Vernon and Merritt for first place in the Interior Division.

Over twenty-seven hundred fans packed the SOEC on Wednesday and saw their team storm out to a five-goal lead through forty minutes. The Vees scored four of their five goals in a five minute span midway through the middle stanza.

Leading 1-0 near the hallway mark of the second, Cody DePourcq kicked things off when he went airborne to score his ninth of the season. Off a face-off, Brendan Lamont had his shot stopped from the left-circle but DePourcq pounced on the rebound, and as he was diving forward, shoveled a shot past Austin Smith at 9:56.

Forty seconds later Captain Brad McClure whipped the crowd into a frenzy when he capitalized on a turnover at the blue-line. DePourcq intercepted the puck just inside the Vipers zone and dropped the puck for McClure, who wired a shot from the slot past the blocker of Smith to put the Vees up by three; Smith was replaced by Danny Todosychuk after the goal.

The change between the pipes did little to stem the tide, as the Vees added another fifty-five seconds later off the stick of Max Coatta. Anthony Conti sent Coatta in on the left-wing, who then powered his way to the Vernon net before stuffing the puck past Todosychuk at the near post; Coatta’s second in three games.

Travis Blanleil capped of the barrage four minutes later when he jammed in a rebound at the side of the net at 15:28 for his sixth. When the dust settled, the Vees scored four goals in five and a half minutes, taking a five goal lead in the intermission.

The Vipers showed some signs of life in the third period when they scored twice to cut into the sizable deficit. Ken Citron scored his first career BCHL goal at 6:05 on a nice setup by Ryan Renz and Chase McMurphy scored his third in two goals at 13:10. However, it was too little, too late for the Vipers, who dropped their second straight decision at the SOEC.

Anthony Conti continued to wield a hot stick, as the power-forward scored his seventh in the first period to open the scoring. Conti took a pass from Max Coatta from the goal-line and from the left-circle surprised Austin Smith with a quick shot along the ice at the fifteen minute mark. Conti now has three goals in as many games, going back to Friday in West Kelowna.

FINAL SCORE: 5-2 Vees

Shots: 33-25 Vees

Power-Plays: Vees 0-3 Vernon 0-2

Three Stars: 1) Cody DePourcq 2) Travis Blanleil 3) Max Coatta

Attendance: 2,742

The win improves the Vees home record to 9-1-0-1 and their record against Vernon moves to 2-1-0 on the season. Their record overall bumps up to 15-5-1-2 and with that, they move into top spot in the Interior Division with thirty-three points; one up on the Vipers and Merritt Centennials. Their record versus their Division improves to 7-3-0-1.

Cody DePourcq and Travis Blanleil each finished with one goal and three points and five Vees finished with two or more points; eight registered at least a single point in the victory.

Twenty-seven hundred fans took advantage of discounted tickets and beer on Wednesday, as they had a chance to win a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier. Season Ticket Holder Al Smith was the lucky fan to have his name drawn for the car, which was graciously donated by Huber Bannister Chevrolet. Five thousand dollars was raised from the car raffle, and those proceeds will be donated to the School District 67 Breakfast Program.

The Vees now prepare for a home-and-home set with the Coquitlam Express, starting Friday in Coquitlam at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre. The return leg is one night later, Saturday, November 23rd at the SOEC; puck drop is 6pm. Tickets for that contest are available at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC, or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com 

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