by Fraser Rodgers
December 22, 2013, West Kelowna BC (ISN) – Andy Desautels turned aside all 25 shots he faced and Reid Simmonds scored a pair of unconventional goals, in the West Kelowna Warriors (20-12-1-2) 4-0 win over the Penticton Vees (24-9-1-3) Saturday at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna.
With the win, the Warriors sweep the home-and-home set with the Vees and take all four points that were up for grabs this weekend. Saturday marks the first time since November 22nd & 23rd the Vees have lost back-to-back games.
Last night the Vees used their power-play to open the scoring and one night later, it was the home team again manufacturing the game’s first goal with the man-advantage. Coming into Saturday’s game, the Tribe had yet to score on any of their 17 power-plays against the Vees this season. Tyson Dallman finally broke that goose-egg when he cleaned-up a rebound in front of the Vees net at 1:54. Ben Tegtmeyer’s point-shot was blocked in front but Dallman was there to slide the rebound past Olivier Mantha.
After killing-off another early penalty, Riley Alferd had the Vees best chance to pull even but was turned aside by the Warriors goaltender. Alferd stick-handled into the slot and from just in front of the crease, fired a back-hand up high that was just held onto by Desautels.
In a quickly moving first period, the Vees fired 11 shots at the Warriors net but couldn’t get one past Desautels before the break.
The Warriors carried the one-goal lead through most of the second, as the teams held each other in check; both teams weren’t giving up much. The score remained unchanged until Seb Lloyd pounced on a rebound with under five-minutes left in the second. Taki Pantziris let go a wrist-shot from the point that appeared to have been squeezed by Olivier Mantha. However, the puck leaked through and fell to Lloyd at the post for a tap-in at 15:45.
The Vees had two cracks at the power-play in the second but the league’s top ranked man-advantage couldn’t solve the West Kelowna penalty-kill; the Vees went into the intermission in a two-goal hole.
In the third, Reid Simmonds put the game out of reach on a peculiar play at center ice with just over eight-minutes left. Simmonds took a step over the red-line and fired a wrist-shot down on the Vees goal. The long shot fooled Mantha, as the puck sailed past his glove and into the net at 11:52.
Simmonds then iced it with an empty-net short-handed goal, after the Vees pulled Mantha in favour of an extra skater late. Off a face-off, Simmonds raced down a dump-in inside the Vees zone and steered the puck into the open cage at 16:19.
Final Score: 4-0 Warriors
Shots: 25-21 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 0-5 Warriors 1-3
Three Stars: 1) Andy Desautels 2) Liam Blackburn 3) Taylor Graham
Record: 24-9-1-3 / Road: 11-6-1-1
Saturday was the Vees first loss in West Kelowna in the regular season, since November 26th, 2010; a run of eleven straight wins. The shutout loss is the first time the Vees have been held off the scoresheet this season, and first time since February 8th of last season, when they were blanked 1-0 by Merritt; 47 games between goose-eggs. Brad McClure sees his point streak end at four games in the loss and sits second in BCHL scoring at the Christmas break. The Vees finish the month of December with a 7-2-0 record and are still five points up on Vernon for top spot in the Interior Division.
The Vees now have a 13 day break between games, as they ring in the New Year with a home-and-home series against the Merritt Centennials, starting on January 3rd. The Penticton Vees would like to wish their fans and sponsors a happy and safe holiday season; see you in 2014.