(ISN) – PENTICTON, BC-A week to the day after losing to the Merritt Centennials, the Penticton Vees used home ice to return the favour in a 4-1 win Friday at the SOEC.
The Vees (35-7-2-1) scored twice inside the first four-minutes of the game and never looked back, winning their third straight game. Dakota Conroy, Demico Hannoun, Tyson Jost and Riley Alferd scored in the victory. Mike Lee had a career night, recording four assists in the win.
Hunter Miska turned aside 21 of 22 shots to pick up his league-leading 25th win.
Zak Bowles was the only player to beat Miska on Friday for the Merritt Centennials (24-17-0-2), who dropped their second straight after losing Tuesday to Trail.
Conroy opened the scoring ninety-seconds into the game on a great feed from Patrick Newell. Newell appeared to be cutting around the net but instead spun the puck back out front to Conroy on the short-side; Conroy scoring his ninth of the season.
Hannoun doubled the Vees lead on their opening power-play of the game. The North Delta, BC product made a move off the wall and powered his way to the slot, before wiring a shot past a screened Jonah Imoo at 4:06.
Jost pushed the Vees lead to three in the opening minutes of the second period. Conroy broke into the Cents’ zone on a two-on-one rush with Jost and found the rookie on the left-wing. The pass was partially blocked but the puck trickled to Jost who smacked it into an open net at 1:31.
Bowles gave the Cents’ some life midway through the middle stanza, when he pounced on a turnover inside the Vees zone. Bowles took the puck away from the defender before roofing a backhand over Miska’s shoulder at 8:29.
Riley Alferd got the SOEC rocking again late in the frame with a great rush down the right-wing. Alferd took a tip-pass from Connor Chartier and tucked a backhand up and underneath the cross-bar at 17:53; Alferd scoring his first goal in 16 games and his 18th of the season.
The Vees ‘D’ took over in the third, as they didn’t allow the Cents’ to mount a comeback attempt, as the Vees held Merritt to nine shots in the final twenty-minutes.
Final Score: 4-1 Vees
Shots: 36-22 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 1-4 Centennials 0-3
Three Stars: 1) Mike Lee 2) Dakota Conroy 3) Riley Alferd.
The Vees improve their record to 20-6-1-0 against their own division in the win. They also take a 4-3 lead in the eight-game season series against Merritt; the finale set for February 20th at the SOEC. They also improve their league-best home record to 18-2-1-0 in the win.
The Vees are now off until Wednesday, January 28th, when they host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at the SOEC; puck drop is 7pm. It’s the second-to-last Wicked Wednesday of the year and the Vees will be raffling off a car. Tickets are available at the Valley First box office (at the SOEC), or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com