The Penticton Vees have taken over first-place in the Interior Conference with a 3-2 win over the West Kelowna Warriors.
Vees captain Brad McClure gave the home crowd something to cheer about when he potted the winner with 9:09 left in the third period. McClure broke the tie when he beat Andy Desautels high glove.
“(Ben Dalpe) Dalps had good speed and left the puck for me. I went left to see if I could get the goalie sliding then shot right,” said McClure.
The Warriors opened the scoring in the game when Jason Cotton, named the game’s second star, had his shot pushed in by the Vees. In an attempt to clear the puck, Travis Amantea was in the crease trying to help goalie Olivier Mantha keep the puck out but it slowly slid past the line.
Vees defenceman Paul Stoykewych, who is among ?? BCHL and three Vees invited to Team Canada West’s camp, beat Desautels with a shot from the faceoff circle in the high slot. The Vees then took the lead when defenceman Brett Beauvais, the defenceman invited to the Canada West camp, collected his own rebound to beat Desautels. He finished with 20 saves.
Cotton tied the game late in the second as he grabbed the puck coming out of the penalty box for a breakaway beating Mantha high on his glove side. Mantha turned aside 25 shots to earn his fifth win.
McClure said the Warriors are a good team and they know it was a huge win.
“We have first in the division and it sets the tone,” said McClure. “It will be back and forth all season.”
The Vees scored twice on three power plays, while the Warriors went 0-for-7.
The Vees face the Langley Rivermen Saturday in Langley. Puck drop is at 7:15 p.m.