The Penticton Vees improved their Okanagan Cup record to 8-0 with two wins over the West Kelowna Warriors Friday (Oct. 16) and Saturday (Oct. 17) night.
The Vees outscored West Kelowna (3-4-0-1) 13-3 in the pair of back-to-back games.
In Friday’s game, the Vees used a five-goal second period to help them coast to a 7-3 win at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna.
The Warriors struck first as Carter Wilkie batted a puck down on a rebound to give West Kelowna a 1-0 lead at the 14:27 mark of the opening period.
Late in the period, the Warriors were forced to make a goal-tending change as Johnny Derrick left the game with 1:26 remaining after being injured in what looked to be a routine dump-in into the Warriors zone. Zach Bennett took over the crease for West Kelowna.
The Vees’ offence erupted in the second period, scoring five goals in consecutive fashion.
Defender Jason Marsella tallied his first Okanagan Cup goal, wristing a shot from the top of the left face-off circle that beat Bennett and evened the score at 1-1.
Just over a minute later, Jackson Niedermayer made his return to lineup felt on the power-play. He banged in a rebound off a Liam Malmquist shot for his third Okanagan Cup goal.
Niedermayer, who missed four games with an unspecified injury wasn’t done there. He scored another about five minutes later, as he jammed the puck through Bennett on the power-play once again, putting the Vees up 3-1.
Ryan Upson was the next to get in on the action. Jacob Quillan gathered the puck in the left corner and centered a pass to the slot as Upson one-timed a shot past the glove side of Bennett for his second Okanagan Cup goal.
Owen Murray concluded the second-period scoring bonanza with his first goal of the Okanagan Cup tournament with another power-play marker for Penticton. Murray got his shot through traffic from the midpoint and beat Bennett through his legs with 59 seconds remaining.
Tyler Ho added a shorthanded goal in the third period, his first of the Okanagan Cup, collecting his own shot off the end boards and burying the puck past the glove side at the 2:27 mark to push the Vees ahead by a 6-1 score. West Kelowna would get a marker from Matthew Stienburg on the power play to cut the Vees lead to 6-2.
Quillan added a tally of his own later in the period at the 8:07 mark of the third period, finishing off a pretty give-and-go with Upson.
A late West Kelowna tally, the second of the game from Stienburg, concluded the scoring as the Vees went on to a 7-3 win.
Kaeden Lane was stellar in goal for the Vees, turning aside 38 of the 41 shots he faced for his third Okanagan Cup win.
Derrick stopped each of the 11 shots thrown his way for West Kelowna before Zach Bennett came on in relief, making 14 saves on 21 shots.
The two teams met again Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre, where Vees goalie Yaniv Perets was perfect, stopping all 29 shots he faced for his second Okanagan Cup shutout as the Vees improved to 8-0 in the tournament with a 6-0 romp.
Jackson Niedermayer picked up where left off on Friday night, tallying the game’s first goal to at the 8:47 mark.
Penticton used their lethal power play to help them take a 2-0 advantage later in the period at the 11:50 mark. Matteo Costantini fired a shot under the blocker of Jay Thomson for his fourth goal of the Okanagan Cup. 2-0 Vees.
Late in the period, Ho was charged with a checking from behind major penalty and a game misconduct on a hit on the Warriors’ Stienburg, sending West Kelowna to a five-minute power play.
The Vees, with the help of Perets, were able to kill off the five-minute major power play before taking a 3-0 lead at the 6:54 mark of the middle stanza with Switzerland’s Stefano Bottini collecting his first Okanagan Cup goal.
Jack Bar stepped up from the blue line and intercepted a pass before sending a feed down to the bottom of the left face-off circle as Bottini chipped the puck through the legs of Thomson for a 4-0 lead.
Captain Fin Williams was the next to get on the board.
Liam Malmquist moved inside the blue line with a nifty move that shook off a Warriors defender and opened the ice for a pass to the left face-off circle where Williams collected and slid a shot through the legs of Thomson for his second Okanagan Cup goal.
Upson put the Vees up 5-0 with 99 seconds remaining in the second period after Bottini made a terrific play below the goal line, sending a pass to the front of the net and Upson was able to tuck the puck through the legs of Thomson for his third goal of the tournament.
Devlin O’Brien would cap off the scoring on the night for the Vees with his fifth Cup goal halfway through the third period. Malmquist made a nifty play behind the net, passing out front as O’Brien chipped a shot right side inside the post.
Thomson made his first start of the tournament, stopping 34 of the 40 shots he faced.
The Vees (8-0-0-0) will remain on home ice as the Okanagan Cup continues. They host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (1-4-0-0) on Friday, Oct. 23 night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Warriors will travel to Vernon to play the Vipers in their next game at Kal Tire Place Friday, Oct. 23.
Vernon swept Salmon Arm 5-2 at home and 4-3 in overtime in the Shuswap.