Submitted by Fraser Rodgers
The Penticton Vees set a new season-high in goals, en route to a 7-2 drubbing of the Coquitlam Express Friday night at the Poirier Sports & Leisure Complex.
Ryley Risling and Nicholas Jones each scored twice, while Risling, who it was announced Friday agreed to a scholarship with Robert Morris University Colonials, Jones and Ty Barnstable each had three-point nights. Ty Amonte and Duncan Campbell also scored for the Vees, who picked up their second win in nine days against the Express. Gabe Bast marked his return by picking up an assist.
Nolan Hildebrand kept his perfect record intact, stopping 16 of 18 shots for his fifth win in six games; his second victory over the Express.
Erik Udahl and Cal Babych scored for Coquitlam, who lost their seventh in a row and are now winless in their last eight games. Reid Cooper was tagged with the loss, kicking out 38 of 45 shots. Coquitlam dressed only 10 forwards and 16 skaters as they were missing eight regulars.
Amonte got the visitors out ahead midway through the first period when he scored his eighth at 11:32. Amonte took a cross-ice pass from Bast and fired a wrist shot over the goalie’s glove from the left wing circle; his second in as many games.
The Vees fashioned together a late flurry in the first, as Jones and Risling scored inside the final five minutes. First, Jones put the Vees up 2-0 after he banged in a rebound from his knees in the crease at 15:03. Then Risling battled not only a few defenders but the clock as well, to put Penticton up by three before the intermission. Risling got to his own rebound, and from the bottom of the circle chopped the puck just over the goalie’s pad.
Penticton kept coming in the second and scored early after Jones bagged his second of the game. After Chris Klack took a couple of whacks at the puck, Jones from the bottom of the right circle pounded a low shot in on the near side at 1:33. Not to be outdone, Risling scored his second after some good work along the boards. Risling reversed the puck behind the net to Barnstable, who quickly gave it back to Risling on the goal line. The 20-year then alertly put the puck off the goalie’s skate and in. The Vees led 5-0 through 40-minutes and outshot the Express 33-13.
Both teams traded goals in the third period, as Barnstable and Campbell got in on the act. Coquitlam broke up Hildebrand’s shutout a few minutes later, when Udahl scored at 5:27. The Express’ forward put the puck between Hildebrand’s legs as he was falling to the ice. The Express got one more consolation marker from Babych with a little over five-minutes.
Power-Plays: Vees 1-4 Express 0-2
Three Stars (Radio Broadcast): 1) Ryley Risling 2) Nicholas Jones 3) Ty Barnstable.
Penticton improved their record to 20-4-0-0 and they are now 13-2-0-0 on the road. The line of Risling, Nash and Barnstable combined for three goals and eight points. Jamie Armstrong picked up an assist in his Vees’ debut. The Vees had three players with three point nights and five players that collected two or more points in the win.
The Vees will host the Merritt Centennials at the South Okanagan Events Centre at 6 p.m. Merritt snapped their nine-game winless skid Friday, knocking off the Wenatchee Wild 4-1 at home.