Right from the morning skate, things felt right for the Penticton Vees Friday for a tilt against the Nanaimo Clippers.
“We could tell from puck drop that it was going to be a good night,” said Vees assistant captain Steen Cooper following a 4-2 win at the South Okanagan Events Centre in front of 2,288 fans.
The win over the Island Division regular season champs was partially the result of the Vees’ power play coming to life, scoring twice on four chances, including Demico Hannoun’s winner at 6:45 of the third period to make it 3-1. The power play was 0-for-21 in the last seven games.
The power play got the Vees on the scoreboard first at 16:36 when Tyson Jost and Dakota Conroy set up Jack Ramsey for his 14th tally of the season.
Five minutes into the second period, Connor Chartier gave the Vees a 2-0 lead on a penalty shot. Chartier burned Guillaume Decelles when he went down and Chartier slid the puck behind his pad. A move he planned the whole time.
“I was watching some highlights this morning on the NHL. I seen a guy do that on a breakaway. Told myself if I ended up getting one tonight that’s the move I would pull,” said Chartier. “Sure enough I got it. There was a decent amount of room behind the pad.”
After Chartier’s goal, Yanni Kaldis got the Clippers on the board at 14:09. In the final period, Hannoun scored twice giving the Vees a 4-1 lead and Nicolas Carrier, one of six 20-goal men on the Clippers, made it 4-2.
Chartier said the effort was stronger than Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Vernon Vipers. One of the things that helped was a talk amongst the team and a players meeting.
“I thought we brought everything that we had tonight,” said Chartier, adding that the Clippers were hard to play against.
Next up for the Vees is a trip to Trail to face the Smoke Eaters at Cominco Arena on Saturday. The Smoke Eaters defeated the West Kelowna Warriors 8-7 in overtime at Royal LePage Place Friday. Harlan Orr, Craig Martin and Jake Lucchini each scored twice. Lucchini also collected three helpers, while Martin added two and Dallas Calvin had a goal and four points.