Nicholas Jones scored twice and Zachary Driscoll made 20 saves for his fourth shutout of the season as the Penticton Vees dumped the Victoria Grizzlies 5-0.
Saturday’s win is the Vees’ 48th and ties for second most in franchise history.
Jones potted the winner 8:37 into the first period on the power play.
Seven minutes later, Easton Brodzinski put the Vees up 2-0 when Scott Conway won a battle for the puck in the Grizzlies zone and found Brodzinski, who made a move to elude a Grizzlies defender then deked out goalie Matthew Galajda to bury the puck into the empty cage. Three minutes after that, Jones potted his 18th with assists to Dante Fabbro and Mitchell Brooks. The puck came towards the net after bouncing off the boards hard and Jones was able to tap it in.
Galajda was replaced by Mitchel Benson to start the second after making seven saves in the first. Bensen finished with 29 saves as he allowed goals to Demico Hannoun and Jost, the second star, who had a three-point night with Jones.
“I thought we played well,” said Jones, the game’s first star, adding they faced a Grizzlies squad fighting for their playoff lives.
Jones liked that the Vees matched the Grizzlies intensity. The Vees were aggressive throughout the game.
“We played with pace,” said Jones. “We matched a team with a great work ethic.”
Jones praised Driscoll who was forced to make some key saves late, especially a final shot with a minute remaining with the Vees on the man advantage.
Driscoll said his teammates came out flying in what was a fast game. He also said their special teams was “awesome.” The power play went two-for-five, while the penalty kill was perfect on five opportunities.
The win helps the Vees get closer to their goal of winning 50 games.
“That is something truly special,” said Driscoll, adding that only four teams in the BCHL have accomplished that and three won the national championship.
One of those teams was the 2011-12 Vees, who won 54, 42 of them in a row.
Saturday’s game attracted a crowd of 2,622.
In other action around the BCHL, Nanaimo topped Powell River 5-3; Chilliwack shutout Vernon 5-0; Trail edged Salmon ARm 5-4; Langley beat Coquitlam 5-1; Cowichan Valley beat Wenatchee 3-2 and Merritt defeated Alberni Valley 3-2.