The Penticton Vees offence made their presence known early and often Wednesday night as they racked up seven goals in a 7-1 win over the Surrey Eagles.
Four of the Vees goals came in a six-minute stretch in the first period. First it was Grant Cruikshank stealing the puck from an Eagles defender just inside the Surrey zone before cutting to the net and beating Daniel Davidson five hole for his seventh of the year.
Less than a minute and a half later the Vees were on the power play. Nicky Leivermann took a pass at the right point, faked a shot then cut to the middle of the ice before wiring a wrist shot over Davidson’s blocker for his first goal in over a month.
The goal prompted a goalie change, but it didn’t help as the Eagles were called for unsportsmanlike conduct before the puck was dropped and went back to the kill.
Ryan O’Connell found a loose puck at the top of the crease and was able to slide it through the five hole of Nic Tallarico who took over in net to make it 3-0. The three goals came just 2:14 apart.
Four minutes later, while shorthanded, Cruikshank scored almost a carbon copy of his first goal as he poked the puck away from an Eagles defender on the right wing wall before cutting across the crease, out waiting Tallarico before firing home his second of the game to make it 4-0.
Before the period was up, Cruikshank’s night would come to an end. While reaching for a rebound, he collided with Tallarico and was assessed a goalie interference penalty. It was the second goalie interference penalty for the Vees, resulting in Cruikshank being ejected from the game and handed an automatic one game suspension.
Surrey found the back of the net with five minutes left in the second period, but the Vees offence came back to life in the third.
Owen Sillinger showed off some great individual skill as he carried the puck all over the Surrey zone before doing a goal-line drive and centring the puck to Jack Barnes who fired home his third goal of the year 3:18 into the period.
Taylor Ward got in on the act by one timing a power-play goal past Tallarico just over halfway through the period. Shortly after Massimo Rizzo was laid out by an open ice hit by Jackson Ross which resulted in every player on the ice getting together. Ross was given a major blow to the head penalty while Joe Leahy was charged for roughing.
At the tail end of the five-minute power play, the Vees notched their fourth man advantage goal of the night as Jared Nash knocked a puck out of mid air and into the goal. Adam Scheel didn’t face a single shot over the final 20 minutes.
The Vees now look to carry their momentum into Royal LePage Place against the West Kelowna Warriors Friday night. The Warriors are coming off an overtime loss to the Vernon Vipers on Wednesday.