A five goal burst in the third period launched the Penticton Vees (36-11-2-3) to a 7-1 win over the Coquitlam Express (14-36-1-3) at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Wednesday.
Don’t let the score fool you, it had been a tight game up until that point. The Express had a great chance to open the scoring in the game as their first shot on goal came off a two-on-one rush, but Adam Scheel made the glove save to negate the chance.
The Vees opened the scoring as Ryan Sandelin deflected in a long slap shot from Jonny Tychonick, ending a 23-game goalless drought 8:45 into the first.
After skating into the second period with a 1-0 lead, it was more of the same in the second period with just one goal for the Vees. Wyatt Sloboshan leaned into a slap shot from the right circle and Clay Stevenson kicked the rebound right to the slot where Owen Sillinger jumped on it and scored his 28th of the year half way through the period.
The Express carried a power play into the third period and 58 seconds in cut into the Vees lead. Jack McNab deflected in a shot from the blue line to make it a one-goal game.
However, it was all Vees after that. First it was Sandelin getting his second of the game, firing a wrist shot from the right circle off the rush into the top corner over Stevenson’s blocker.
Just over three minutes later, Kenny Johnson took a slap shot from near the left point that deflected off the stick of Jordan Schulting and through the legs of the Stevenson for Johnson’s first goal in 84 games dating back to last season.
A minute and a half after that, Sillinger did a goal line drive from the right wing before cutting in front of the net, beating Stevenson over the glove to make it 5-1 with 10:28 remaining in the game.
Under a minute later, Taylor Ward gathered a loose puck near the Express blue line and skated down the middle before wiring a shot under Stevenson’s glove for his 17th of the year.
Finally, Sloboshan capped off the onslaught by finishing off a nice passing play as he took a feed from Chris Klack on the goal line in front of the net for his sixth of the year.
Scheel finished with 20 saves in goal, recording his 25th win of the season.
The Vees now get set to finish off the home and home series with the Express when they meet Friday at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre.