The Penticton Vees put on a show for their fans on awards night, pasting the Surrey Eagles 11-0 Wednesday.
The South Okanagan Events Centre was packed with 3,343 fans for the final regular season home game.
Thirty-eight seconds in, Nicholas Jones, named the Vees most sportsmanlike player, potted the winner with Luke Voltin and Anthony Brodeur collecting assists. Easton Brodzinski, the Vees’ rookie of the year, netted his 30th of the season at 8:15 when he deked out Justin Laforest to give the Vees a 2-0 lead. Owen Sillinger and Desi Burgart put them up 4-0 heading into the first intermission. They outshot the Eagles 20-6.
Mitchell Brooks, the Vees on Vees most popular player and most inspirational, said when it came to their effort, it’s not easy to play how they did in that type of game.
“It was important to us to really just stick to our system and not create any bad habits as we’re going into the real hockey here,” said Brooks.
In the second period Brodzinski added his second of the night, picking the top corner stick side on Laforest, with Scott Conway and Chris Gerrie picking up assists. With less than three minutes remaining, Gerrie got his 16th goal as he picked the top corner on a breakaway. The shot count was 33-13 for the Vees.
In the final frame the Vees erupted for five goals from, Dixon Bowen, Taylor Ward, Voltin, Conway, his 54th and Tyson Jost his 40th. Jost had a five-point night, while Gabe Bast collected three assists in his return.
“It was special. The boys played well tonight in front of me,” said Bast of his return after missing 49 games with a lower body injury. “The defence played well. It was good to get Anthony that shutout.”
Anthony Brodeur made 22 saves. The Eagles replaced Laforest with Daniel Davidson after he allowed seven goals on 33 shots.
The win improves the Vees record to 49-6-0-1.
As for the Vees other award winners, Colton Poolman was named the Unsung Hero and the best conditioned athlete; most improved player went to Owen Sillinger; the Robert Skinner Courage award went to Bast; Zachary Driscoll was given the humanitarian award, while Brodeur was named the fan favourite, Conway is the leading scorer and shared the most valuable player award with Jost. Dante Fabbro was named the best defenceman and Griffin Mendel earned the academic achievement award.
Brooks on his Vees on Vees award: “It’s an honour to get that award. Right now those guys are my family. It means a lot to me that they look up to me. I was actually joking around with Gabey it’s probably the award that means you’re not that good at hockey, but we’ll give you that award anyway.”
Brooks on most inspirational award: “It’s something that I want to make clear to the boys that I’m willing to do anything for them. I think everyone in that dressing room could win that award too. We’ve all put it out there on the line every single night.”
Bast (4) on Skinner award: “It’s a huge honour. It’s been a tough season for me.
There is a lot of guys in that locker room that showed courage each and every night.”
The raffle for the 2004 Nissan Murano SE from Penticton Auto Sales generated $8,515 for School District 67s Breakfast Program. Also, Holy Cross School was the winner of the School Spirit Challenge during the Penticton Vees Cobs Bread Anti Bullying game on Feb. 13. Cobs Bread presented a cheque for $500 to the school. A dozen schools attended the game to show their support for anti bullying.