The Penticton Vees surrendered the first goal against the Vernon Vipers, but got the last laugh Friday night.
Vipers forward Mason Blacklock opened the scoring at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place as he beat Hunter Miska with a 1:30 remaining in the first period. The Vipers entered the dressing room with a one-goal advantage and an edge in shots, 12-11.
The second period was a different story as the Vees peppered Vipers goalie Danny Todosychuk with 20 shots, with two getting past him. Nicolas Pierog, now loaded with a college scholarship from Clarkson University, scored his first goal as a Vee since being traded to the team from the Surrey Eagles on Jan. 4. Erik Benoit, who the Vees signed the day before acquiring Pierog, also got his first goal as a Vee just over a minute later.
Special teams wasn’t a factor in this game as the Vees went 0-for-2 and the Vipers 0-1. The home team didn’t go away silently outshooting the Vees 11-4. Miska finished the night with 30 saves to pick up his 13th win of the season and his sixth on the road. Todosychuk made 33 saves in a losing effort.
The Vees now improve to 26-9-2-3 on the season and earned their 12th win on the road. They travel to Trail on Saturday to take on the Smoke Eaters in Cominco Arena at 7:30 p.m.
The Vees did make one final move on the Jan.10 deadline day, trading the Canadian Junior Hockey League playing rights of defenceman Blake Butzow to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for future considerations. The Vees now have 21 players on their roster, leaving one spot open. The minimum number of carded players a team can have is 20. More details on the trade to come.