An 18th consecutive victory was earned by the Penticton Vees after they dismantled the Powell River Kings 7-2.
Connor Reilly opened the scoring on the power play after taking a pass from Travis St. Denis and went to the net and banking the puck off Kings goalie Jamie Phillips. Nine minutes later, Mario Lucia scored his first of three as he pounced on a loose puck to beat Phillips. Joey Benik scored the 3-0 goal on a long wrist shot that appeared to surprise Phillips, who went down early. Benik’s tally from 10 feet inside the blueline ended up being the game-winner.
Lucia, who earned first star honours, collected his second and third goals of the game. The second one came as a high stick struck him in the face. The hat trick goal was scored into a gaping net. After St. Denis fired a shot on net, the big rebound when to the rookie, who now leads the league in scoring with 26 goals and 60 points.
In the final frame, Mike Reilly, the game’s second star, hammered home a slapshot making it 6-0. Logan Johnston set up Curtis Loik for the Vees’ final goal. Skating behind the net, Johnston snuck a pass to the front of the crease and Phillips had no chance on the play with Loik all alone.
Playing against his former team, Michael Garteig made 22 saves and earned third star honours.
Mike Reilly finished with three points, while two point efforts were recorded by Johnston, Connor Reilly, Joey Benik and Ryan Reilly.
Heading into the Christmas break, the Vees are 20 points ahead of the Merritt Centennials and are 30-3-0-2. The Vees have eight of the top 20 scorers. Steven Fogarty cracked the list at 18 with 16 goals and 40 points.