DUNCAN, BC – ThePenticton Vees are within a point of top spot in the Interior Conference aftera solid win in their second game of a season high five game road trip.
Joey Benik and Mark MacMillan each had a goal and an assist,and affiliate forward Carter Rigby added two assists as the Vees bounced backfrom a loss on Tuesday night in Powell River with a five-goal outburst inDuncan.
Early on, the Vees grabbed the lead as Brendan O’Donnellconverted from the slot on a power play at the 3:19 mark. O’Donnell’s 21stof the season was set up by MacMillan and LaLeggia.
Despite heavily outshooting the Caps 17-6 in the firstperiod the Vees led the game by just a single goal. In fact the Vees wouldn’tscore again until 13:34 of the second when Joey Benik tucked in the rebound ona shot from Rigby that was stopped. Benik’s now has 26 goals – the most in theBCHL among rookies.
In the final minute of the period, the Vees struck again asRigby danced around a pair of defenders in the Cowichan end before setting upKyle Beaulieu at the point. Beaulieu’s low shot was tipped in by MacMillan toput the Vees up 3-0 and silence a crowd of 1,046 at the Island Savings Centre.
Curtis Loik would pad the Vees lead in the third, as the17-year-old rookie beat Derek Dun from off the rush for his sixth of theseason.
The Caps would finally solve Joel Rumpel with just 11:10remaining in the game; Tyler Matheson pounced on a rebound to end thenet-minder’s shutout bid and bring the Caps back within three goals.
Steven Iacobellis would round out the scoring on the night,as he scored in his second straight game with a rocket of a slap shot with 1:06remaining in the third.
Holding a game in on the Vipers, the Vees are now just apoint back of top spot in the Interior.
The Vees power play finished with a goal on sevenopportunities. The Caps were held off the score sheet going without a goal infour opportunities.
Rumpel was named the first star of the game in the buildingas he made 31 saves in the victory, sixteen of which were in the final frame.Rookie Derek Dun allowed five goals on 40 shots.
The Vees will enjoy Thursday off, before playing the NanaimoClippers on Friday. Saturday sees the Vees visit the Victoria Grizzlies, whilethe team will close out their road trip with an afternoon game in Port Alberniagainst the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Sunday.
The Vees have just four home games remaining at the SOECbefore the playoffs begin. Next home action is February 4th when theTrail Smoke Eaters visit Penticton for their final meeting of the season.
You can purchase game tickets at the S.O.E.C. box office, atValleyFirstTix.com, or at London Drugs in the Cherry Lane Shopping Centre.