by Fraser Rodgers
February 9, 2014, SURREY, BC (ISN) – Hunter Miska stopped all 29 shots he faced and three different players scored on the power-play, as the Penticton Vees blanked the Surrey Eagles 3-0 Saturday at South Surrey Arena.
The win is the Vees third in a row and second this season against the Eagles; they took the first meeting 7-1 back on December 7th. The win, coupled with West Kelowna’s overtime loss in Prince George Friday, pushes the Vees lead to three points atop of the Interior Division.
For the second straight night the Vees killed-off an early four-minute opposition power-play, as Max Coatta got dinged for a high sticking call just four minutes into the game.
Hunter Miska was superb early, as he rebuffed the Eagles power-play and took a sure goal away from Joseph Drapluk inside the first ten minutes. Drapluk appeared to have an open net to shoot at but Miska reached back behind his head and grabbed the puck with his blocker hand before it could cross the goal-line.
The great goaltending and penalty-killing loomed large, as the Vees broke a scoreless tie late in the first on a power-play of their own. Nic Pierog returned to Surrey in style, as the former Eagle broke down the right-wing and put a wrist-shot post and in from the right-circle at 14:09.
Jack Ramsey doubled the Vees lead in the dying moments of the first, as he made good on another Vees man-advantage. Travis Blanleil, from the corner, dished the puck out front to a streaking Ramsey, who redirected the puck through Devon Fordyce at 19:37; Ramsey’s second power-play goal in three games.
The power-play came up with another goal in the second period, as Brad McClure bagged his team-leading 37th five-minutes in. McClure weaved his way through traffic and from the right-circle, squeezed a wrist-shot through the arm of Fordyce at 5:02; the Vees scoring on their first three man-advantages.
That’s all the offense Hunter Miska needed, as he stopped 14 shots in the first and another 10 in the second period. Miska’s best save of the second was when he flashed the leather on Nathan Renouf. Miska lunged to his left and gloved a point-blank shot from Renouf at the top of the crease.
Neither team found the scoresheet in the third period, as the two combined for just 12 shots; the Vees stymying the Eagles attack.
Final Score: 3-0 Vees
Shots: 29-28 Eagles
Power-Plays: Vees 3-4 Surrey 0-6
Three Stars: 1) Hunter Miska 2) Nic Pierog 3) Devon Fordyce
The Vees improve their record to 32-13-2-4 with the win and they’re now 15-8-2-1 on the road; 5-3-1-1 versus the Mainland Division. Steen Cooper finished with a game high two points, both assists, and seven Vees picked up at least a point in the win. Saturday was the first shutout win for the Vees since October 11th, when they blanked the Prince George Spruce Kings 2-0 at the SOEC.
The Vees don’t return to the ice until next Friday, February 14th, when they host the third place Vernon Vipers at the SOEC. The Vees have won four of the first five meetings against Vernon this season, including a 6-1 win back on January 24th. Tickets are available at the Valley First Box Office (at the SOEC), or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com