CHILLIWACK-The Penticton Vees overmatched the Surrey Eagles in an 11-2 win in the Bauer BCHL Showcase Friday night.
In front of a sparse crowd in Prospera Centre’s main rink, the Vees scored nine straight goals in the second and third period. The Vees were led offensively by Lewis Zerter-Gossage who finished with a hat-trick and an assist, while line mates Tyson Jost and Liam Finlay collected three and two assists, respectively.
“In the first period, even though it was 2-2, I thought we controlled the play pretty well,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson. “I couldn’t ask for much more from our guys.”
The game started getting out of reach after Matthew Serratore scored on a breakaway at 8:10. Sixteen seconds later, parked in front of the net, Cody DePourcq tapped in a rebound to make it 4-2. Eight minutes later, Jack Ramsey and Zerter-Gossage scored power-play goals. Harbinson said after the first period it seemed his players were reaching for the puck a little bit. After talking about being more physical and playing harder along the boards, Harbinson saw things open up.
“I thought we moved our feet all night,” said Harbinson.
Also scoring for the Vees was Mitch Newsome, Joshua LaFramboise, Miles Gendron and Demico Hannoun. When asked about Zerter-Gossage’s play, Harbinson said he has been outstanding.
“That line really moves the puck well,” he said. “Jost, Finlay and Zerter-Gossage, the three of them don’t keep the puck on their stick very long. It’s kind of crazy to think that all three are rookies on that line.”
After netting his first goal, the six-foot-two, 195 pound centre said he wasn’t expecting to get the other two.
“My linemates made it really easy for me,” said the Montreal native. “I felt good, I had some good exhibition goes. We were really amped up for this game.
“We were all fired up and so was I,” continued Zerter-Gossage. “I was definitely ready and I was glad that I made an impact.”
Zerter-Gossage said a factor to their success was that there was “nothing we really cheated on.”
“There was nothing spectacular that we did,” he added.
Zerter-Gossage said the Eagles were physical and have big defenceman, but added that also meant they are a little slower.
“We tried to take advantage of that on the rush and down low,” he said.
Of the 11 goals scored, three came on the power-play. The Vees’ penalty kill went 4-for-5. The Vees play their final game in the Showcase Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.