Vees unleash Hannoun on Bulldogs for game winner

Penticton Vees double up Alberni Valley for fourth straight win

Demico Hannoun was denied once by Alberni Valley Bulldogs goalie Billy Christopoulos on a breakaway.

It didn’t happen a second time. As Hannoun got closer to Christopoulos, he went backhand to forehand and snapped a shot high glove to give the Penticton Vees a 3-2 lead at 14:45 of the second period of their BCHL meeting Saturday night.

“He is taking his play to another level,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson. “He’s one of the most dangerous players in the league when he’s moving his feet.”

A third-period goal by Patrick Newell at 5:22 assisted by Hannoun and Mike Lee secured the win in front of 3,077 fans, many from Penticton schools wearing pink shirts for the Anti-Bullying Challenge school night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The Vees opened the scoring in the first period during a four minute power play. The Vees capitalized twice, the first goal coming at 18:24 when Jack Ramsey poked at the puck and Christopoulos was unable to contain it. More than a minute later, defenceman Gabe Bast blasted a shot from the point for a 2-0 lead.

The Bulldogs erased the Vees lead with two goals by Mitch Makin and Marcus Russell in the opening five minutes of the second period.

“Other than that four minute lull, we were solid,” said Harbinson. “Our special teams were outstanding this weekend.”

The Vees killed off all five Bulldogs power plays and shutdown the Merritt Centennials three times on Friday. After the Bulldogs tied the game Harbinson decided to call a timeout.

“I just had a sense of a slide starting,” said Harbinson, wanting his players to calm down and added the goals allowed were not Hunter Miska’s fault. “I thought our guys responded well.”

Miska finished with 20 saves for his 32nd win of the season. Miska is second in the BCHL in wins, is tied with Salmon Arm’s Angus Redmond for first in shutouts with five, is first in goals against average at 1.90 and is first in save percentage with .929.