PRINCE GEORGE, BC –Ty Amonte knows a thing or two about first impressions. The Penticton Vees rookie forward factored in all four Vees’ goals, in their 4-0 win over the Prince George Spruce Kings Saturday night.
Amonte scored twice and added two helpers for a four-point night, and took home first start honours in the Vees’ season-opening win at Rolling Mix Concrete Arena. Owen Sillinger and Ryley Risling added third period goals, all part of a three goal frame, that helped the Vees pull away. Speaking of debuts, Mat Robson turned aside all 21-shots he faced in the Vees’ net, to pick up his first win and first shutout in his first start as a Vee.
Penticton was held off the scoresheet in the first twenty-minutes, despite Risling and Gabe Bast rattling shots of the post. It was Amonte who broke the scoreless deadlock just over three-minutes into the second.
The Massachusetts native picked-off an errant clearing attempt in the middle of the zone and quickly snapped a shot over the shoulder of goalie Stefan Wornig; his first BCHL goal putting the Vees ahead.
The Vees held onto that one-goal lead right through to the third where they erupted for three goals in an 11-minute stretch. Amonte’s line-mate got in on the scoring after a short scramble in front of the PG net. Owen Sillinger found the puck and shoveled it across the goal-line at the side at6:27. Minutes later Amonte was at it again.
After Risling and Jared Nash were stopped, Amonte alertly found the rebound at the side of the net and intentionally put it off the goalie’s backside and in; the bank job coming at 10:39.
Risling put the finishing touches on the Vees’ opening night win with under three-minutes left in the game. Risling darted to the middle from the wing and took a pass from the corner, before sliding a backhand five-hole at 17:34. Risling scored in his first game in a Vees jersey after missing pre-season with an injury.
FINAL SCORE: 4-0 Vees
Shots: 50-21 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 0-6 Prince George 0-2
Three Stars: 1) Ty Amonte 2) Owen Sillinger 3) Stefan Wornig
This year’s edition of the Vees was able to do something the 50-win team last year couldn’t do-win their season opener. Last season, almost a year ago to the day, the Vees dropped a 4-2 decision in Salmon Arm.
Penticton is now off until next Friday when the start a three-game Island Division road trip, starting in Powell River. The Vees face Alberni Valley Saturday and Cowichan Valley Sunday afternoon. Fans can listen to all three games on EZ Rock AM 800, or they can watch onwww.fasthockey.com