Beau Bennett piled up four assists is a 5-4 win against the Westside Warriors Friday, but his final assist was the most important.
With Warrior supporters making more noise at the South Okanagan Events Centre compared to Vees fans, Bennett glided to the corner of the Warriors net and spotted blueliner Bo Dolan at the point. With defence partner Joey Laleggia ready to one-time a pass, Dolan chose to snap a wrist shot that bulged the twice and had Vees fans blowing the ceiling off the building. After the goal, Dolan pumped his hand in the air as the goal came with 27 seconds left in the game and was their second power play goal of the night.
A crowd of 2,591 watched as the two rivals played with a hatred commonly seen in the playoffs.
However, the only fight that happened was between Vees forward Ben Sexton and Alex Grieve. Sexton, who was knocked down by a Grieve punch, got an extra 12 minutes for instigating and misconduct. It looked as though towering defenceman Luke Curadi would find a sparring partner with Joel Woznikoski as they exchanged words, but that never materialized. Curadi beaked at the Warrior bench during the altercation with Sexton and even used his right hand to tell the Warriors all they do is talk.
The Warriors arrived in Penticton with the hope of doing what Vernon did two nights ago when they defeated the Vees in overtime and in the early going it appeared they might. A poor start by the Vees had them trailing 2-0 with Grayson Downing scoring both goals. On the first goal he buried a rebound past goalie Sean Bonar, who was down and unable to make a second save after the defence failed to get the puck out of danger. On the second goal, Tyler Krause made a pass from the right corner and found Downing untouched in the slot. The Vees had just one shot after eight minutes, but clawed back in when forward Ryan Viselli decided to fire the puck at the goal on a bad angle from the corner and it found a way to get past Kevin Jebson over two minutes after Downing’s second goal. The tying goal came from first star Garrett Milan, who one-timed a Bennett feed on an odd-man rush.
Alex Szczechura added to the lead with a power play goal as he caused problems in the slot and finished off a rebound. In the third, Milan collected his second of the game.
Dolan’s power play goal came when the Warriors were penalized for too many men. Warriors coach Darren Yopyk and the Warrior fans, who made the trip, weren’t happy with the officiating. Yopyk also exchanged words with Vees coach Fred Harbinson, with the officials watching cautiously.
The Vees wrap up the regular season on Sunday when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters, which will have the Bennett Bros., Beau and Wade face each other.