PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
PENTICTON, B.C. – The Penticton Vees got a pair of goals from Jackson Nieuwendyk and four third period markers to help them to a 6-3 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The opening period saw the Vees outshot the Grizzlies by a 12-1 margin over the course of 20 minutes but the chances were limited for either side with Colin Purcell making a save on the only shot thrown his way in the period while Cole Schwebius turned aside each of the 12 shots thrown his way with the period coming to an end at 0-0.
As they did on Wednesday night, the Vees were quick to strike in the opening part of the 2nd period as Jackson Nieuwendyk buried his second goal of the season to open the scoring. Casey McDonald set up Nieuwendyk from the right corner as he centered a pass to the front of the goal where Nieuwendyk went to his backhand and slid the puck through Schwebius just 26 seconds into the 2nd period for a 1-0 Vees advantage.
A minute later, Michael Hoekstra evened the score at 1-1 at the 1:26 mark of the middle stanza as he made his way down the right-wing side as he attempted to center a pass from the right face-off circle and had it bank off a Vees defender and through the legs of Purcell to make it an even score.
The Vees jumped ahead for the second time in the game at the 5:38 mark of the 2nd period as Brett Moravec completed a gorgeous tic-tac-toe passing play. Spencer Smith laid the puck to the left face-off circle before Luc Wilson played a pass to the right side and Moravec finished the play off for his 3rd goal of the season to make it a 2-1 Vees lead.
The Grizzlies made their way back once again and scored two goals in quick succession to get ahead for the first time in the game. Isack Bandhu fired a shot through traffic on the power play that had eyes for the back of net from the left point to even the score at the 14:34 mark of the middle frame before Jackson Morehouse gave Victoria the lead.
A bouncing puck off the rush came to Morehouse in the slot as he threw a shot past Purcell at the 15:38 mark, scoring goals in a matter of 1:04, to get ahead by a marker before the Vees came back in the 3rd period and scored four goals in the final frame.
Josh Nadeau tied the game for Penticton on the power play after a strong pass from Luc Wilson off the rush. Wilson charged down the left wing and centered a pass for Nadeau, who was going to the front of the net and chipped a shot past the glove side of Schwebius for his 9th goal of the season and tied the game at 3-3 at the 6:12 mark of the 3rd period.
It was Nieuwendyk who again made his presence felt and landed with the eventual game winning goal at the 8:36 mark of the 3rd period. Grayson Arnott held a loose puck in and put a shot on goal from that spot with his shot being blocked before Nieuwendyk found the loose puck, dug it out of a pile and dragged to the right face-off circle where he snapped a shot past the glove hand of Schwebius for his second goal of the night and a 4-3 Vees advantage.
Wilson completed his three-point night, adding a goal to his game at the 9:53 mark on the power play to extend the Vees lead to 5-3. Nadeau spotted Wilson in the left face-off circle from the slot as he cocked a wrist shot and beat a down and out Schwebius for his 9th goal of the season.
Frank Djurasevic closed out the game in scoring with his 1st goal of the season, finding the back of the net on an empty goal and a shot from center ice with 54 seconds remaining to ice a 6-3 victory for the Vees.
Colin Purcell turned aside 15 of the 18 shots he faced in his 4th win of the season while Cole Schwebius turned aside 38 of the 43 shots thrown his direction in his 1st loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 6-3 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 43-18 Vees
VEES PP: 2/9
VEES PK: 5/6
1) Jackson Nieuwendyk (2-1-3)
2) Luc Wilson (1-2-3)
3) Cole Schwebius (38 saves on 41 shots)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Brett Moravec (1-0-1)
The Vees (10-2-0-0) continue their four-game home stand with another Wicked Wednesday as they host the Merritt Centennials (0-12-1-0) for the first time this season at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Puck drop is slated for 6:30 PM with tickets available for purchase at the SOEC Box Office as well as online at ValleyFirstTix.com. The game will also be broadcasted live on Bounce Radio 800 and streamed online at BCHLTV.ca beginning with the pre-game show at 6:10 PM.