by Fraser Rodgers
February 5, 2014, PENTICTON, BC (ISN) –The saying goes, good Captains lead by example and Brad McClure did just that Wednesday. The Penticton Vees Captain picked up five points leading the Vees to a 6-3 win over the Trail Smoke Eaters at the SOEC.
The win snaps the Vees mini two-game losing streak and moves them two points ahead of the idle West Kelowna Warriors, for top spot in the Interior Division.
McClure scored once and finished with a game-high five points, as he becomes just the second player in the BCHL to hit the 70 point plateau. He also narrowed the gap to three points on Salmon Arm’s Landon Smith, for the BCHL scoring lead.
McClure opened the scoring three and a half minutes into the first period, as he hooked up with new line-mate Erik Benoit on a give-and-go in the Trail Zone. Benoit spotted McClure coming down the middle, and the Captain put a backhand up and over a sprawled Dustin Nikkel at 3:33; his team-leading 36th.
The Vees power-play then kicked in to high gear, scoring on back-to-back chances to push the Vees lead to three. Brett Beauvais scored the first of two first-period power-plays goals, when he tapped-in a rebound at the top of the crease. McClure threw the puck across to Beauvais who had an open net for his 11th at 13:04.
On the Vees next man-advantage, Erik Benoit scored his first of two on the night, when he finished off a nice passing play down-low. McClure slid the puck down to the goal-line to Shane McColgan, who then spotted Benoit out front for the one-timer at 17:41.
Trail’s Scott Davidson cut into the deficit early in the second period, as he capitalized on a turnover at the blue-line. Bryan Basilico intercepted the puck, and then found a streaking Davidson, who slid the puck underneath the belly of a sprawling Hunter Miska at 5:20.
Benoit picked up his second of the game in the middle frame, restoring the Vees three-goal lead. Cody DePourcq had his shot deflect off Nikkel’s shoulder and then bounce on the goal-line, before Benoit swatted in the rolling puck at 13:50.
Matt Serratore pushed the lead to four, when he too cashed-in on a rebound near the Trail goal. Cam Amantea was stopped point-blank in front but the puck squirted to Serratore, who went post and in at 16:04 for his fifth.
Jack Ramsey made it 6-1 early in the third period on another Vees power-play. Brad McClure had his pass from the right-wing redirected by Ramsey who was breaking to the net at 2:47; Ramsey’s 8th of the year and 7th point against Trail this season.
Trail tacked on two goals in the latter half of the third period to cut the deficit in half. Scott Davidson wired a wrist-shot from between the circles over Miska’s glove at 12:27 for his second of the night. AP Braden Fuller was the recipient of a fortunate bounce in front of the Vees goal, as he tapped-in a rebound at 17:40, which originally went off a Vees defender.
Final Score: 6-3 Vees
Shots: 41-18 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 3-7 Trail 0-2
Three Stars: 1) Brad McClure 2) Erik Benoit 3) Shane McColgan
Brad McClure finished with a game-high five points, followed by Erik Benoit (2-1-3) and Shane McColgan (0-2-2); ten Vees picked up at least a point in the win. The Vees push their record to 30-13-2-4 in the win, and improve their home record to 16-5-0-3. They’re now 6-0-0 against the Smoke Eaters, with the final regular season meeting slated for February 21st.
The Vees host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at the SOEC on Friday, in their 4th Annual Valley First Feed the Valley Night. Fans are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the game, in support of the Salvation Army Food Bank. Adults and Seniors who bring a non-perishable food item, will be given a discounted $10 ticket. Tickets are available at the Valley First Box Office (at the SOEC), or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com