Cowichan Valley left their physical presence in the Kootenays along with their jerseys as they were dumped by the Penticton Vees 7-3 at the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday night.
“We should have went shirtless, no shoulder pads because we didn’t hit anyone,” said Capitals coach Dale Purinton, who said their jerseys were misplaced in Trail and didn’t arrive in time for the game.
Looking like a minor hockey team with yellow Penticton Minor hockey sweaters on, Purinton said his team showed signs of good hockey but can’t be as inconsistent as they were against the Vees.
“They are a strong team with depth,” said Purinton. “Their goalie (Joel Rumpel, 19 saves on 22 shots) made some huge saves.”
Leading 2-1 after the first period on goals by Bradley Robbins and Brendan O’Donnell, the Vees created a cushion in the second period with three goals, two by rookie Joey Benik, who clicked with Garrett Milan and Logan Johnston. Benik, the games first star, finished with four points, while Milan collected three assists and Johnston two points.
“I felt good,” said Benik, who was the victim of a Derik Johnson shaving cream facewash while interviewd and credited his linemates Milan and Johnston. “It was a huge night for our line.”
Benik added it was important for the Vees to earn the two points against the Capitals despite their struggles. It was two points they didn’t want to lose in front of a crowd of 1,072.
In the final period, both teams traded goals with the Vees scoring twice courtesy of Johnston and Joey Laleggia. On a two-man advantage, Mike Hammond scored on Rumpel who wasn’t in position to make the save on a back door play. Darrin Robak added the Capitals third goal on a long shot that found a hole through Rumpel.
Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson liked the energy level of his team.
“We followed through on the game plan to a tee,” said Harbinson. “We kept it simple and our special teams were good.”
The Vees went two-for-five on the power play and allowed just one goal on 10 penalty kills.
Harbinson was impressed with Benik’s play, especially in his own zone limiting chances and managing the puck better. For more Vees coverage, check Wednesdays issue of the Western News.