Submitted by Fraser Rodgers
The Penticton Vees extended their BCHL-best win streak to 15-games Saturday night with a 5-3 win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals at the Island Savings Centre in Duncan.
Scott Conway and Chris Gerrie each scored twice for the Vees and Easton Brodzinski added an empty-netter late. Anthony Brodeur kept his perfect record intact, making 18-saves for his straight 10th win.
The Vees came out flying as they outshot the Caps 16-6 in the opening frame. Despite the strong start, the Vees had a tough time solving Caps starter Storm Phaneuf but eventually broke through inside the final 20-seconds of the period.
On a power-play, Conway made a slick move around a defender before blasting a shot underneath the crossbar and over Phaneuf’s glove at 19:45. The lead was short lived as the Caps responded 14 seconds later when Daniel Wanner knocked down a clearing attempt and with eight-tenths of a second remaining on the clock, squeezed a shot off the post and past Brodeur.
Conway put the Vees ahead a second time 39 seconds into the second period. David Eccles’ point-shot was blocked in front of the net but the puck bounced to Conway for the tap-in. His second of the game is also a team-leading 15th.
Gerrie put the Vees ahead 3-1 with a power-play goal. The Vees went three-for-eight on the man-advantage. More than three minutes after Gerrie’s goal, Ryan Burton put the Caps within one as he buried a rebound at 19:35.
The home team rode that momentum into the third and found the tying goal just over two-minutes in. After a Vees defender was caught in the neutral zone, the Caps broke in on a two-on-one rush which ended with Luke Santerno bagging his fifth at 2:12.
Penalty trouble hurt the Capitals as Gerrie’s second of the night was the winner as he squeezed the puck between the post and the Storms’ arm at the side of the net at 8:13.
With the goalie pulled, Easton Brodzinski scored his 10th of the season.
Prior to the game, Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson acquired the Canadian Junior Hockey League playing rights to forward Nick Jones (96) in a three-team deal, the team announced Saturday afternoon.
To get Jones, the Vees sent forward Jason Lavallee and future considerations to the Saskatchwan Junior Hockey League’s Flin Flon Bombers for the playing rights of defenceman Joel Webb. The Vees then flipped Webb, plus future considerations, to the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Sherwood Park Crusaders for Jones’ rights.
Jones, 19, was in his sophomore season at Ohio State University in the Big Ten Conference. The Edmonton, Alta, native played in 29 games for the Buckeyes over parts of two seasons scoring once and collecting five assists. Prior to joining Ohio State, Jones had a decorated junior career with the Crusaders. In the 2013-14 season, Jones finished third in AJHL scoring with 72 points in 52 games and his 41 goals was the most in the league. He also had a league-best 16 power-play goals. That season, Jones was a unanimous selection to the AJHL’s North Division All-League Team. In two seasons in the AJHL, Jones compiled 52 goals and 96 points in 100 career games.
Jones has represented Canada, playing with current Vee Demico Hannoun on Team Canada West at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge (WJAC). Jones finished second in team scoring with five points as the Team West reached the WJAC semi-finals.
Lavallee, 19, played in 13 games picking up two goals and six points.
Jones will join the Vees in Penticton on Monday and will be on the ice for practice. He’ll wear number eight and make his debut Friday against Merritt.