The Penticton Vees used a four-goal outburst over a five-minute span in a 5-2 B.C. Hockey League win over the Vernon Vipers Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Leading 1-0 on Anthony Conti’s (7th goal) snipe 15 minutes into period one, the first-place Vees (15-5-1-2) surged ahead midway through the second frame.
Cody DePourcq (9th) started the barrage in front of 2,700 fans when he pounced on a rebound on netminder Austin Smith’s doorstep at 9:56.
DePourcq, named first star, then assisted on captain Brad McClure’s marker, his team-leading 17th, 40 seconds later after a Viper turnover at the blueline.
The 5-foot-6, 160-pound DePourcq said the Vees had success when they drove to the net in the Interior showdown.
“You look at guys like Conti and (Jack) Ramsey, some of our bigger players, they like to take the puck to the net which is very good,” said the Penticton product. “When you crash the net, good things happen.”
Added Vees’ head coach Fred Harbinson: “I thought once we started having some success, I think we smelt a little bit of blood in the water and we just kept going to the net hard and things happen.”
Smith was replaced by Danny Todosychuk after allowing three goals on 16 shots. Todosychuk, who finished with 15 saves, didn’t fare much better as the Vees potted another 55 seconds later by third star Coatta (12th).
Second star Travis Blanleil (6th) capped the goal-spree four minutes later when he jammed in a rebound at the side of the net.
“It was a disappointing outcome,” said Vernon captain Ryan Renz. “We came out and played, by our standards, not too bad of a first period. Then to come out and lay an egg in the second, it was definitely a tough loss to take for sure.
“They’re definitely the quickest playing team we’ve played in a while, and they use their speed effectively and created some chances.”
Vernon (13-7-2-4), tied with the Merritt Centennials (15-9-1-1) for second in the Interior, finally responded with a pair of goals in the third period.
D-man Kenny Citron converted a nice feed from Renz for his first-ever BCHL goal at 6:05. Chase McMurphy, with his third goal in five games since joining Vernon from the USHL’s Tri-City Storm, completed the offence.
Matty Saharchuk (2) and Demico Hannoun also drew assists.
“We wanted to put together a good 20 minutes and show some character and not just let them roll over us,” said Renz. “It’s nice to get a few goals, but it still stings.”
Vernon visits the recently overhauled Trail Smoke Eaters (7-16-2-1) tonight at Cominco Arena. The Snakes entertain the West Kelowna Warriors (14-8-0-2) Saturday at Kal Tire Place.
The Warriors scored four first-period goals as they cruised to a 6-2 win over the Salmon Arm SilverBacks (13-9-1-3) Tuesday at the Shaw Centre.
Jason Cotton, with 2+2, and captain Matt Anholt (2) led the Warrior offence. Bryden Marsh and Vernon’s Alex Jewell answered for the ‘Backs.
SNAKE BITES: The Vees lead their regular-season series with Vernon 2-1…Vernon’s Liam Coughlin and Penticton’s Patrick Sexton entertained the crowd with a solid scrap off the opening faceoff…Coughlin’s line with Dexter Dancs and Michael McNicholas was held pointless for the first time in six games. The trio combined for 37 points over that span…The Vipers are 11-1-1-3 when they score first, and are 2-5-1-1 when the opposition scores first.