The Penticton Vees used four different goal scorers and an 18-save shutout from Kaeden Lane to help them to their fifth consecutive victory in a 4-0 victory over the Vernon Vipers on Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The strong tournament continued for Vees forward Quinn Hutson, who has scored in all but one Okanagan Cup game thus far. Hutson got the night going for the Vees with his sixth goal of the tournament, giving Penticton a 1-0 lead.
On the first Vees power play of the game, Owen Murray moved the puck from the middle of the blue line to the right face-off circle where Liam Malmquist fired a shot on goal that was stopped by the right pad of the Vipers netminder before Hutson was in the right place at the right time and buried the rebound past the blocker side at the 5:40 mark of the first period.
Kaeden Lane got the start in goal for the Vees and was strong right from puck drop en route to his first shutout of the Okanagan cup. Lane made some of his bests saves early and would stop all seven shots he faced in the opening frame.
Roan Clarke made his second appearance in the Vipers net of the Okanagan Cup and was also very good in the opening 20 minutes. The 17-year-old turned aside 10 of the 11 shots he saw in the first period to keep his team within a goal going into the second stanza.
The Vees came out hungry to start the second period, with Devlin O’Brien burying his third goal of the Okanagan Cup tournament at the 3:31 mark.
O’Brien forced a turnover below the goal line as he bumped the puck free to Matteo Costantini, who pushed a pass to the slot for Ryan McGuire. The forward settled the puck and backhanded a pass to the bottom of the right face-off circle where O’Brien would fire it home to put the Vees up 2-0.
The captain was next to hit the scoresheet for the first time on the night as Fin Williams tripled the Vees advantage just under five minutes later at the 8:02 mark of the middle stanza. Malmquist dragged the puck into the offensive zone on the power play before dropping a pass for a rushing Williams down the right side, who ripped a shot underneath the blocker of Clarke for his first Okanagan Cup goal and a 3-0 Vees lead.
The newly drafted Costantini, who was selected in the 5th round by the Buffalo Sabres earlier in the day, capped off the scoring in the third period to give the Vees a 4-0 lead. Costantini settled the puck through the neutral zone and hit the offensive end with speed as he sniped a shot glove side on Clarke from the left face-off circle, for his third goal of the tournament.
Lane was busy early in the game but saw just 18 shots on the night. The Vipers, who are now 0-3, put just one shot Lane’s way in the the third period as Lane would go on to record the shutout for his second of the Okanagan Cup. Vipers goaltender Roan Clarke stopped 34 of the 38 shots thrown his way in a strong performance in the Vernon crease.
The Vees (5-0-0-0) and Vipers (0-3-0-0) will see each other again with a change of venues on Saturday night as the teams do battle at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. The game can be viewed through pay-per-view at HockeyTV.com.
FINAL SCORE: 4-0 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 38-18 Vees
VEES PP: 2/6
VEES PK: 5/5