NANAIMO, BC-A much anticipated matchup between the two top teams in the BCHL turned out to be a 60-minute showcase by the Penticton Vees, as they steamrolled the Nanaimo Clippers 6-1 at Frank Crane Arena on Friday night.
Friday’s game featured the league’s two 50 goal, 100 point scorers but it was the Vees’ Captain Tyson Jost stealing the spotlight. Jost had a hat-trick and a game-high four points, as the Vees won their fourth in a row and swept the two-game season series against the boatmen.
Luke Voltin, Nic Jones and Dixon Bowen also scored in the win and Anthony Brodeur turned aside 22-shots, for his league-leading 25th victory.
BCHL leading scorer Sheldon Rempal scored the only Clippers goal but on the power-play, as the Clippers offense was snuffed out by the league’s top team.
Jost opened the scoring four-minutes into the first period after a turnover in the Clippers end. Owen Sillinger striped the puck away from Matt Hoover and Jost turned and fired, beating Evan Johnson on the short-side at 4:01.
Voltin doubled the visitors lead midway through the first and from nearly the same spot as Jost. Voltin corralled the puck in the left-circle and quickly put a shot up and over Johnson at 11:25; his third goal in his last two games.
Rempal cut into the Vees’ lead late in the first on the Clippers second power-play. From the boards, Rempal walked in and squeezed a shot through Brodeur on the near-side at 17: 58.
Jost stepped to the forefront in the second, scoring twice as the Vees started to pull away from Nanaimo. First, the Captain scored a highlight-reel goal off the rush, skating one-on-three into the Clippers’ zone before wiring a shot upstairs at 7:33. Then, on Penticton’s first power-play, Jost took a pass from the wing out front, and poked the puck underneath the goalie’s pad at 11:52; that goal his 33rd of the season.
The Vees salted the game away in the third period, scoring twice more. First, Dixon Bowen, from the blue-line, hammered a one-timer into the top corner at 1:50; his second goal in two games since moving back to the blue-line.
Four-minutes later the Vees were on another power-play and Jones followed the puck to the net and got rewarded. Jost was stopped right in front after breaking down the middle, but the rebound squirted right to Jones who went five-hole at 4:55; his 15th.
Final Score: 6-1 Vees
Shots: 35-23 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 2-3 Nanaimo 1-4
Three Stars: 1) Tyson Jost 2) Dante Fabbro 3) Nic Jones
Friday was the Vees’ fourth straight win in Nanaimo, dating back to last season’s Fred Page Cup Final. Scott Conway had a pair of assists in the game and now is two points back of Rempal for the BCHL scoring lead; he has 102. Dante Fabbro had a very good night on the blue-line, picking up three assists in the victory. The Vees are now 8-0-1-0 against the Island Division after tonight’s win.
Penticton (43-6-1-0), is one point away from clinching their second consecutive BCHL Regular Season pennant, and can do so tomorrow in Port Alberni against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs; face-off is 7 pm. Fans can listen to the Vees’ conclusion of their Island Division road trip on EZ Rock AM 800, or they can watch online at www.fasthockey.com