by Fraser Rodgers
February 28, 2014, SALMON ARM, BC (ISN) – As the saying goes, it’s about how you finish, not how you start. The Penticton Vees scored three unanswered goals, en route a 3-1 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Friday at the Shaw Centre.
The win is the Vees fourth in their last five games and they now have a chance to win their division tomorrow at home.
Salmon Arm, which had lost eight in a row coming into Friday’s contest, opened the scoring early in the first period. Evan Anderson put the home team on the scoresheet first, when he finished off an extended shift in the Vees zone. Landon Smith found a streaking Anderson between the circles, and he lifted a backhand over Oliver Mantha’s shoulder 6:48.
Persistence paid off in the second for the Vees, as Ben Dalpe brought them back level late in the middle stanza. On the Vees third consecutive power-play, Dalpe capitalized on a rebound in the Salmon Arm crease. Nic Pierog failed to stuff the puck in at the post but the rebound squirted across to Dalpe, who shoveled in his 17th at 15:09.
The Vees took fifteen minutes to find the back of the net in the second, but just thirteen seconds to grab their first lead in the third. Off the opening face-off, Riley Alferd’s shot from the right-wing handcuffed Angus Redmond and fell to Jack Ramsey, who poked the loose puck through the sprawled goaltender; Ramsey’s tenth and first in five games.
Brad McClure put the game on ice and hit the forty-goal plateau in the final moments of the third. With the Salmon Arm net empty, McClure fired a wrist-shot from centre into the open six by four at 19:22; McClure the Vees third forty-goal scorer in the last three years
Final Score: 3-1 Vees
Shots: 35-20 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 1-3 Salmon Arm 0-2
Three Stars: (Radio) 1) Brad McClure 2) Jack Ramsey 3) Nic Pierog
With the win, the Vees record moves to 35-16-2-4 and they sit tied on points with the West Kelowna for top spot in their Interior Division; both with 76 points with one game to go. Their road record bumps up to 17-9-2-1 and they move to 21-10-1-2 against their own division. Brad McClure now has 40 goals and 79 points, which is third best in the BCHL.
The Vees closeout the regular season tomorrow, Saturday March 1st, when they host the Silverbacks at the SOEC; puck drop is 6pm. With a win Saturday, the Vees would clinch the Interior Division regular season pennant. Fans are encouraged to stick around after the game, as the Vees are handing out their 2013-2014 player awards. Tickets are available at the Valley First box office (at the SOEC), or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com