Nicholas Jones’ ninth goal of the season helped the Penticton Vees earn a 3-2 win over the West Kelowna Warriors Saturday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Jones’ goal gave the Vees a 3-0 cushion at 11:29 of the second period in front of a crowd of 2,352. Scott Conway, his 31st of the year, and Luke Voltin, his fourth, also scored for the Vees who avoided back-to-back losses for the first time again. Anthony Brodeur kept his undefeated record intact, turning aside 37 of 39 shots to earn the game’s first star.
“It was a great battle. I’m really proud of our guys,” said Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson. “Obviously we found a way every time we’ve had a loss, we found a way to bounce back the next night.
“Going into it, these six games with everybody out, if you said we would go 3-2-1 I would have been pretty happy with it,” continued Harbinson. “I think our guys have earned their Christmas break for sure.”
The Warriors began clawing back in the second period when the Vees failed to get the puck out and Brett Mennear found Liam Blackburn in front and he quicklty deked around the prone Brodeur at 19:10.
In the third, the Warriors kept the pressure up and got within one on the power-play. Blackburn was at the center of it all again, as he spotted Jonathan Desbiens on the far side for the backdoor goal at 10:29.
Brodeur got his revenge on Desbiens later in the third, as he made a terrific save on a breakaway attempt by the speedy forward. In his last two starts against the Warriors, Brodeur has stopped 82 of 84 shots and was named the game’s first star in both contests. The Vees are now 18-0-1-0 at home; 17-0-1-0 at the SOEC. They enter the BCHL Christmas break with a 31-4-1-0 record, 17 points on second place in the Interior Division.
Vees rookie Easton Brodzinksi said they had lots of energy on their bench, more than in Friday’s loss in West Kelowna.
“We got a few bounces today. Didn’t get that many last night,” he said. “We can enjoy our break now. Go home and talk about it with our families.”