Ty Amonte scored twice and Mat Robson stopped all 26-shots he faced for his second straight shutout, as the Penticton Vees blanked the West Kelowna Warriors 5-0, Friday night at the SOEC.
Nicholas Jones, Duncan Campbell (short-handed) and Grant Cruikshank also scored in the win, as the Vees won their fourth straight in front over just over 2,900 fans.
The referees were busy, handing out 40 penalties and nine misconducts for 160 penalty minutes, in a chippy, emotional affair.
The Vees got off to a fast start, scoring on their first two shots of the game to go up by a pair five-minutes in.
Despite the two-goal lead, Mat Robson had to be sharp in the Vees net in the opening frame, as he stopped all 12 shots directed his way and got some help from the post, after Stephen Kleysen just clipped the pipe on a near-miss from between the circles.
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The Vees’ penalty-kill continued to give the Warriors fits and produced another goal in the opening seconds of the second period. After Jones poked the puck down the wall, Duncan Campbell skated to the bottom of the circle, before putting a wrist-shot upstairs on the short-side 21-seconds in. Allowing three goals on five shots put an end to Warriors goalie Cole Demers night as they swapped him out for Gabriel Morency
Campbell’s goal was the Vees’ fifth short-handed marker against the Warriors this season and seventh overall.
The posts got a workout in the second, as both teams had a few chances that clanked off the iron. Ty Amonte almost had his second of the game but his rebound attempt into an open net hit the base of the far post and someone banked back out. Campbell’s original shot missed but caromed off the boards and back out to Amonte on the opposite side of the net.
Then on a Vees power-play, Taylor Ward had a chance to pad the lead but his blast from the slot smoked the post behind Morency’s blocker.
The Warriors had two great looks but both Logan Mostat and Connor Sodergren hit the pipe on a power-play midway through the period. On the same shift, it was Sodergren redirecting a point-shot off the post behind Robson’s glove, and then the puck came over to Mostat who rifled a one-timer off the middle of the cross-bar from the left-wing and out of play.
Not to be outdone, Jones tried for his second goal of the night on another Vees’ power-play late, but his shot from the circle hit the base of the post and stayed out.
No post was going to stop Cruikshank early in the third, as the Vees leading goal-scorer fired a dart over Morency’s should from the left-wing just 76-seconds into the frame making it 4-0; Cruikshank bagging his 29th.
Robson went into the third period not allowing a goal for over 137 minutes and was tested, stopping Connor Sodergren on a breakaway midway through the stanza. Sodergren tried to go up high but Robson jetted out his blocker to get a piece of the rising shot.
Emotions, which were bubbling to the surface all night, boiled over nine and a half minutes into the third. West Kelowna’s Cavin Tilsley exchanged some shots with Mat Robson in the crease and that sparked a bit of a line skirmish, after Tilsley ripped off Robson’s mask. When the dust settled, nine of the 10 skaters on the ice were shown the exit, including all five Vees.
The Vees capped things off the way they started it, with an Amonte goal. With the win, the Vees improve their record to 6-0 against the Warriors this season and they’ve now won eight straight regular season home games against the Warriors.
The Vees (38-12-1-2) looks for their fifth straight win Saturday, when they host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (20-28-3-3); puck drop is 6 p.m. It’s the Vees’ annual Pink the Rink night in support of Anti-Bullying awareness. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game, as the Vees will be wearing their Cobs Bread pink Anti-Bullying jerseys.
Tickets are available at the Valley First box office (at the SOEC), or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com