A recently created trio for the Penticton Vees is becoming a force.
Demico Hannoun, Lewis Zerter-Gossage and Tyson Jost racked up seven points, including six by Hannoun and Zerter-Gossage, in a 4-0 win against the West Kelowna Warriors on the road Saturday. Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson is crediting some of the success to Hannoun playing with a bit of an edge.
“He is finishing his checks and creating a little bit of space there. He’s always had good hands,” said Harbinson, who put together the trio two weeks ago. “Zerter-Gossage, he’s a pretty special player. He can protect the puck well. So does Jost. It’s a puck possession game. All three of them are hanging on to pucks and supporting each other well in the offensive zone.”
The trio has also bought in to working hard to get the puck back when they lose it.
Zerter-Gossage netted the winner 5:40 into the first period. Hannoun made it 2-0 6:40 into the second period, Matthew Serratore made it 3-0 then Hannoun’s second made it 4-0 on the power play as Zerter-Gossage set him up.
Harbinson liked the way his four lines competed as the group responded to a challenge by the coaching staff to play a more complete game. Happy with a dramatic night Friday at the South Okanagan Events Centre, there were moments Harbinson didn’t like, adding that the second period got away from them. The Vees coach said had it not been for the performance by Warriors goalie Andy Desautels making 44 saves Saturday, the final score would have been a lot different.
The Vees, now ranked fourth in the Canadian Junior Hockey League, are on a five-game winning streak and don’t return to action until Friday when they visit the Vernon Vipers at Kal-Tire Place. Harbinson said the group has found ways to win hockey games without co-captains Cody DePourcq and Patrick Sexton, who are out with upper body injuries. Harbinson has DePourcq listed as day-to-day and it’s possible he could be back this weekend as he is ready to start skating.
“We will see how it goes. Like any injury, we’re not going to rush guys back,” said Harbinson. “It’s too early in the year to rush guys back.”
Vees notes: The Vees are now 5-1-0 against the Interior Division, 4-1-0 on the road … Hannoun extended his point streak to six games with three on Saturday … Zerter-Gossage now has eight points in his last five games and Jost’s assist pushes his point streak to five games. Hunter Miska made 29 saves for his first shutout of the season.