Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees 2018-19 season came to a screeching halt Monday night with a 3-1 loss to the Cowichan Valley Capitals in game six of the Interior Division quarterfinals. The Capitals advance to play the Wenatchee Wild in the second round.
Much like game four, the Vees showed some strong jump in the opening minutes of the game, jumping out to a 7-2 shot lead before the period was half over.
But again, much like most of the series, the Capitals made their chances count. Cassidy Bowes was called for highsticking with 2:33 left in the first and Cowichan took advantage.
David Melaragni took a cross-ice pass in the left circle and put a wrist shot over the blocker of Jack LaFontaine to open the scoring. The goal came with 1:27 left in the period.
Following the goal the Capitals pressed to extend their lead, twice hitting the post in the final minute of the period. The shots read 8-6 in favour of Penticton through 20 minutes.
The Vees had plenty of chances in the second period, including four power plays, but couldn’t connect on either of them. One was just for 16 seconds after the Vees were shorthanded and Cowichan took a penalty, and another carried over into the third for 1:38.
The Vees continued to pressure over the third period, but an aggressive play at the blue line resulted in Cowichan’s second goal.
After James Miller lost the puck near the line, the Capitals came the other way on a three-on-two rush. Dan McIntyre took the drop feed as the trailer and his fluttering shot fooled LaFontaine to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead halfway through the period.
Try as they might, the Vees couldn’t solve Pierce Diamond as the period wore on before the Capitals hit the empty net, sealing the Vees fate.
Lukas Sillinger managed to break the shutout bid by shovelling in a loose puck during a goal mouth scramble with 37 seconds to play, but it was too little too late for the Vees who’s season is now over.
The loss ends the junior careers for Brendan Harrogate, Eric Linell, Ty Pochipinski, Andre Ghantous, James Miller and Jack LaFontaine who now graduate from junior hockey.