SALMON ARM, BC –Duncan Campbell didn’t need much time to make a good first impression with his new team. The newly signed forward scored twice in the first period, as the Penticton Vees cruised to a 4-1 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Friday at the Shaw Centre.
Campbell scored just four-minutes into the game to break the ice and then again late in the first period on the power-play to put the visitors ahead by a pair. Grant Cruikshank, short-handed, and Owen Sillinger added two more in the second, as the Vees bounced back from a loss to Wenatchee Saturday.
Mat Robson was very good Friday, stopping 33 of 34 shots and was named the game’s third star, in picking up his 13th win of the season.
Penticton’s power-play continued to produce, as they scored again Friday, pushing the Vees’ streak to four straight games with a power-play goal.
In his first game as a Vee, Campbell scored on his second shift of the game. Off a face-off, David Eccles had his point-shot kicked-out but that rebound came right to Campbell, and the 20-year-old quickly found the back of the net at 4:36.
Then, after Salmon Arm got into some late penalty trouble, Campbell added another during a Vees’ five-on-three advantage. James Miller ripped a one-time from the top of the circle, which Campbell managed to get a piece of out front of the net; his second coming at 17:24.
The Vees took a late penalty in the first but it turned out to be a piece of good fortune. Early in the second period, with the Vees’ short-handed, Cruikshank capitalized on a fortunate break-literally. Riley Hayles had his stick break in two at the blue-line, allowing Cruikshank to dart back the other way on a short-handed rush. Cruikshank delayed slightly in the left-wing circle, and the goalie bit, sprawling out on his belly, before Cruikshank slid a backhand deke into an open net; Cruikshank picking up his team-leading 14th goal 79-seconds into the middle frame.
Penticton was guilty of taking one too many penalties in the second and it finally caught up to them a few minutes later. Elijiah Barriga, much like Campbell’s first goal, was first to a rebound off the goalie’s pad. Robson stopped the initial shot but the rebound bounced over to Barriga who buried it into an open net at 11:37; his seventh career goal in eight games against Penticton.
The Vees didn’t let the Silverbacks build on that power-play marker, as Owen Sillinger restored the visitor’s three-goal lead midway through the sandwich stanza.
After Mitch Meek forced a turnover at the redline Owen Sillinger broke back the other way on an odd-man rush. The Vees’ Alternate Captain elected not to pass, instead picking the corner on the near-side, over the goalie’s glove, from the right-wing circle at 11:37. Sillinger wouldn’t be denied again after hitting the post in the first period.
It was full lockdown mode in the third period, as the Vees only gave up nine shots, stumping out any thought of a Silverbacks’ comeback.
Final Score: 4-1 Vees
Shots: 25-34 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 1-4 Salmon Arm 1-4
Three Stars: 1) Duncan Campbell 2) Connor Sundquist 3) Mat Robson
Nicholas Jones assist on Campbell’s first goal extended his point streak (2-7-9) to six games. The Vees are now 8-0-0-0 against the Interior Division and six of those eight wins have come on the road. The Vees also bump up their road record to 11-2-0-0 with the victory.
Penticton (16-3-0-0) returns home Saturday to face the Prince George Spruce Kings (8-9-1-1) at the SOEC; game time is 6 PM. The Spruce Kings are coming off a 5-4 loss in Trail Friday.