Before the Penticton Vees faced off against the West Kelowna Warriors Friday night, forward Jack Ramsey made a prediction.
He told Vees co-captain Patrick Sexton that he would get his first goal of the season at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Leading 2-1 on goals by Lewis Zerter-Gossage and Cody DePourcq, Sexton finished off a play by the former to make it 3-1 in the first period.
“I give Rammer credit, he told me tonight I was going to score and sure enough Lewis made a good play to drive the net, slid it out to me and I just tried to shoot it around there guy that was coming out in the lane and found low glove,” said Sexton, the game’s second star. “I was pretty excited.”
Sexton was being given a hard time from his teammates lately.
“There are some APs (affiliate players) that have more goals than I do,” said Sexton, whose goal proved to be the winner in a 4-2 decision.
Being aggressive on the puck helped the Vees defeat the Warriors in front of 2,200 fans, that included a small contingent from West Kelowna.
“We kind of challenged our guys. We weren’t happy with the way things went down in Merritt,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson in reference to Wednesday’s 5-1 loss. “I felt we kind of used the amount of bodies out of the lineup as an excuse and I just told our guys, these moments if we have six out, we can’t make it seven, eight or nine guys if they don’t play well. We challenged them to bring their best game tonight. I thought we did.”
On DePourcq’s goal, he used great hand-eye co-ordination to bat the puck out of the air past Scott Patton, who finished with 14 saves and was injured in the third period.
The lone goal in the second period was scored by Josh Bly, who picked up his second of the game and earned the third star.
In the final frame, the Warriors had the edge in shots, 10-6, but it was Dakota Conroy on a play by DePourcq and Mike Lee who put the finishing touches on the match.
“I thought both teams played pretty hard. It was a fast paced game, the crowd was into it, great atmosphere,” said Harbinson. “I’m just proud of our guys being able to respond from the challenge.”
The Vees travel to West Kelowna Saturday to play the second of the home-and-home series before the Christmas break.