The Penticton Vees opened their Doyle Cup campaign in style, scoring seven goals en route to a 7-2 win over the Brooks Bandits Friday; Vees lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.
Logan Johnston made his mark on this series early; the Vees captain opened the scoring on the power-play in the first period. Johnston jammed in a loose puck in the Bandits crease for his fifth goal at 7:27; the Vees only taking eight seconds to convert on the man-advantage.
The Vees doubled their lead later in the period as their special teams play was at the forefront again. Whilst short-handed, Mario Lucia kept the puck on a two-on-one and put a hard shot over the glove of Jan Obernesser at 13:37; just one second remaining in the Vees penalty when Lucia picked the corner.
In the second period the Vees wasted little time increasing their lead to three when Johnston found another loose puck in the Brooks crease. Mario Lucia had his shot stopped but the puck bounced right to Johnston who wacked it in to the open side at 1:54.
The Bandits staged a mini rally shortly after to cut the Vees lead to just one; Colton Semenok finished off an end-to-end rush at 5:49. Soon after the Vees took a penalty and the Bandits made the most of their opportunity when Chris Muscoby scored off a fortuitous bounce at 8:34; an errant shot rebound off the end-board and right to Muscoby.
However the rally was short lived as the Vees came down and scored on the very next shift, just forty-one seconds after the Bandits marker. Wade Murphy took a pass from the half-wall and wired a wrist-shot from the top of the circle past Obernesser at 9:05
The Vees put the game away early in the third period as Joey Benik found the scoresheet just forty-three seconds into the frame. Benik was sprung on a partial break, on the left-wing after a breakout pass from Mike Reilly; Benik fired a shot past Obernesser-post and in.
Bryce Gervais and Troy Stecher padded the Vees lead in the early stages of the third. Gervais scooped up a loose puck in the slot after Obernesser misplayed it behind his net; Gervais finding an open cage at 5:29. Troy Stecher capped the scoring on the power-play a few minutes after the Gervais tally. Stecher crashed the crease and pounced on a bouncing puck at 8:40.
FINAL SCORE: 7-2 Vees
Shots: 26-25 Bandits
Power-Plays: Vees 2/6 Bandits 1 / 4
Three Stars: 1) Travis St. Denis 2) Logan Johnston 3) Mario Lucia
The Vees look to sweep the set in Brooks with a win in game two, Saturday, April 21st at the Centennial Regional Arena; puck-drop is 6pm PT.