VERNON, BC –Grant Cruikshank looks like he’s ready for the BCHL opener on September 10th. The rookie forward scored and picked up two assists in the Penticton Vees 4-1 win over the Vernon Vipers Thursday, in pre-season action at Kal-Tire Place.
Jared Nash, Joe Leahy and Noah Jordan also lit the lamp for Penticton, who won their second game in as many nights. Mat Robson kicked-out 14 of 15 shots in his debut in the Vees crease, and the power-play manufactured two goals late in the third period.
Cruikshank opened his scoring account just over five-minutes into the opening frame. The speedy forward kept the puck on a two-on-one rush and squeezed a shot underneath the arm of Vernon’s Gavin Hubbard at 5:49. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin, product then turned to setup man.
From behind the net, Cruikshank grabbed a loose puck and quickly threw a dart out front to Nash in the crease for the quick tap-in at 8:37.
Penticton enjoyed their share of chances in the first period, as they outshot the Vipers 14-3.
Vernon made some noise early in the second, as they quickly found the scoresheet to cut into the Vees’ lead. On an odd-man rush, Jimmy Lambert slid the puck over to Jagger Williamson, who went glove-side on Robson at 1:55.
That scored held up until the late stages of the third when the Vipers ran into some penalty trouble. Penticton was handed back-to-back five-on three power-plays and they didn’t waste their opportunities.
Leahy restored the two-goal lead at 17:15 after some slick puck work, which resulted in him firing into an open net from the slot. Then Jordan was at the right place, at the right time, when he cleaned up at rebound in the crease inside the final minute to salt the game away.
Final Score: 4-1 Vees
Shots: 35-15 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 2-7 Vipers 0-3