PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
PENTICTON, B.C. – The Penticton Vees used four different goal scorers and an 18-save shutout from Kaeden Lane to help them to their fifth consecutive victory in a 4-0 victory over the Vernon Vipers on Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The strong Okanagan Cup continued for Vees forward Quinn Hutson, who has scored in every game but one thus far in the tournament and helped the Vees to a 1-0 lead with his 6th goal of the exhibition schedule.
On their first power play of the game, Owen Murray moved the puck from the middle of the blue line to the right face-off circle where Liam Malmquist fired a shot on goal that was stopped by the right pad of Vipers netminder Roan Clarke before Hutson was in the right place at the right time and buried the rebound past the blocker side at the 5:40 mark to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Kaeden Lane got the start in goal for the Vees and was strong to begin the contest, making a couple of good saves early in the festivities and turned aside each of the 7 shots he faced in the opening frame. Clarke made his second appearance in the Vipers net of the Okanagan Cup and the 17-year-old was also very good in the opening 20 minutes, turning aside 10 of the 11 shots he saw to keep his team down by just a goal into the 2nd period.
The Vees came out with the pressure in the opening period of play and saw that result on the scoreboard as they doubled their lead at the 3:31 mark of the middle stanza with Devlin O’Brien burying his 3rd goal of the Okanagan Cup tournament.
O’Brien forced a turnover below the goal line as he bumped the puck free to Matteo Costantini, who pushed a pass to the slot for Ryan McGuire. The forward settled the puck and backhanded a pass to the bottom of the right face-off circle where O’Brien deposited the pass into the back of the net for his 3rd goal of the Okanagan Cup and a 2-0 lead.
The captain was next to hit the scoresheet for the first time on the night as Fin Williams tripled the Vees advantage just under five minutes later at the 8:02 mark of the middle stanza. Malmquist dragged the puck into the offensive zone on the power play before dropping a pass for a rushing Williams down the right side, who collected the pass and zipped a shot underneath the blocker of Clarke for his 1st Okanagan Cup goal and a 3-0 lead in the 2nd period.
The newly drafted Costantini, who was selected in the 5th round, 131st overall by the Buffalo Sabres earlier in the day, capped off the scoring in the 3rd period to give the Vees a 4-0 lead. Costantini settled the puck through the neutral zone and hit the offensive end with speed as he gathered and sniped a shot from the left face-off circle, bulleting a shot past the glove side of Clarke for his 3rd goal of the Okanagan Cup to push the Vees lead to 4-0.
Kaeden Lane was busy early in the game but saw 18 shots, including just one shot in the 3rd period, and finished the contest with an 18-save shutout, his first of the tournament and his 2nd win of the Okanagan Cup. Vipers goaltender Roan Clarke stopped 34 of the 38 shots thrown his way in a strong performance in the Vernon crease, dropping his second Okanagan Cup game.
FINAL SCORE: 4-0 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 38-18 Vees
VEES PP: 2/6
VEES PK: 5/5
The Vees (5-0-0-0) and Vipers (0-3-0-0) will see each other with a change of venues on Saturday night as the teams do battle at Kal Tire Place in Vernon for a 6:00 PM puck drop. The game can be viewed on pay-per-view at HockeyTV.com.