Sunday, November 18, 2012 - Submitted by Fraser Rodgers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, November 17, 2012 VEES STUMBLE IN TRAIL TRAIL, BC-The Trail Smoke Eaters got goals from three different players in the first ten minutes of the game, en route to a 5-2 victory over the Penticton Vees Saturday. The loss is the Vees fifth in their last seven games and puts an end to their two-game win streak.
Trail opened the scoring on the power-play just shy of the four minute mark of the first. Ryan Edwards tipped a Tyler Berkholtz point-shot past the arm of Chad Katunar at 3:53; Edwards first career BCHL goal.
The Smoke Eaters added to their lead minutes later when Brent Baltus corralled a loose puck in the slot. Baltus scooped up the puck between the circles and fired a shot past Katunar’s blocker at 6:07 for his team-leading 16th.
Trail padded their lead just before the ten minute mark on another rebound near the Vees goal. Connor Collett was in the right spot, as the right time, as he whacked in a rebound off the pad Katunar at the far-post; Collett’s 6th coming at 9:35. Trail scoring three goals in the first nine and half minutes to put the Vees in a sizable hole.
Trail made it 4-0 early in the second period when their power-play struck again. Luke Sandler took a pass at the bottom of the right-circle and spun a low shot along the ice through Katunar’s legs at 3:02; the goal chasing Katunar from the Vees net.
Entering the game, the Smoke Eaters owned the league’s worst power-play, as it was operating just above 13 percent. However, on Saturday they scored two of their first four goals on the power-play; two on their first two man-advantages.
The Vees made some noise a minute later on a power-play of their own. Brad McClure picked up his 14th of the season, when he redirected a shot from James De Haas through Adam Todd at 4:05; the goal was McClure’s fourth in as many games.
The Vees played with a sense of urgency in the second, outshooting the Smoke Eaters 17-9 but were only able to score the one power-play goal.
In the third period, James De Haas made things interesting early in the frame. De Haas scored his fourth of the season, after banking the puck off of the back of the goaltender. The rear-guard skated down the right-wing and charged the goal-line before flipping the puck of the backside of Todd and across the goal-line at 4:05.
However the Vees couldn’t muster a third period comeback and the Smokies sealed the game with an empty-net goal from Ryan Edwards at 19:08. Trail splitting the season series at a game apiece with the win.
FINAL SCORE 5-2 SMOKE EATERS Shots: 38-35 Vees Power-Plays: Vees 1/4 Smoke Eaters 2/3 Three Stars: 1) Adam Todd 2) Ryan Edwards 3) Garrett McMullen
Vees Notes: Wade Murphy did extend his BCHL-best point-streak to 18 games with an assist on Brad McClure’s power-play goal. With that second period goal, McClure extended his goal-scoring streak to four games.
The loss was the Vees first on the road to a divisional opponent; 6-0-0 before Saturday’s loss. Saturday’s game was the first in Trail for the Vees in almost a year, as they last played in Trail November 20th, 2011; an 8-5 win.
Despite the loss, the Vees stay six points up on both Merritt and West Kelowna for first place in the Interior Division. Merritt lost 6-4 in Salmon Arm and West Kelowna was up-ended 3-2 by Prince George Saturday.
Up Next: The Vees finish off their home-and-home with the Smoke Eaters on Wednesday, November 21st at the SOEC; face-off at 7pm. Tickets are available at the Valley First box office at the SOEC or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com