The Penticton Vees used a three-point effort from Liam Malmquist and the fourth shutout of the season for Kaeden Lane, making 20 saves, in a 5-0 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters on Monday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
A penalty-filled opening period saw both teams gain early power plays and chances for momentum that went by the wayside but it was the period moved along, Penticton started to tilt the ice and with just over five minutes to go in the frame, Grayson Arnott pushed his team ahead as the Vees struck first.
Liam Malmquist took a Jacob Quillan pass in the neutral zone as he spotted Arnott racing up the middle of the ice from the right wing. Malmquist feathered a pass ahead that Arnott caught just inside the blue line for the breakaway chance, staying on his forehand before lifting a shot over Smoke Eaters goaltender Logan Terness for his 2nd goal of the season to give the Vees a 1-0 edge at the 15:03 mark of the opening period.
The special teams play continued into the second period with the intensity picking up where it had left off in the first 20 minutes of action. As a Vees penalty kill had expired, Josh Niedermayer spotted Tom Richter out of the penalty box and banked a pass off the boards in front of the player benches to the neutral zone which allowed Richter to move in on an odd-man rush with defender Philippe Chapleau.
Richter slowed as he entered the offensive end to allow Chapleau to join the play as he sent a pass from the right face-off circle to the left side where Chapleau batted the puck toward the goal, squeaking past the blocker side of Terness for his 2nd goal of the season at the 7:16 mark of the middle stanza to give the Vees a 2-0 lead.
Following that, the Vees were given a 5-on-3 man advantage and extended their lead to three goals coming courtesy of their leading scorer, Luc Wilson. Fin Williams moved the puck from left to right as Malmquist sent a pass to the right face-off circle where Wilson snuck a shot through the blocker side of Terness for his 11th goal of the season and a 3-0 Vees lead.
Wilson was at it again in the 3rd period, finding the back of the net at the 6:50 mark of the 3rd period for his second goal of the night. Ryan Upson gathered a pass in the neutral zone and moved into the offensive end, circling away from a defender in the right face-off dot and spotting Wilson as the trailer on the play, as he received the pass and buried a shot under the blocker of Terness for his 12th marker of the season and a 4-0 advantage in favour of Penticton.
To cap off his three-point night, Malmquist added his 6th goal of the season to give Penticton a 5-0 lead over halfway through the 3rd period. Tristan Amonte battled a Smoke Eaters defender off of the puck and freed it for Malmquist who flew in to chip the puck past a sprawled Terness, who came out to try and poke the puck away but Malmquist beat him to it and found the back of the net at the 12:43 mark of the final period.
Kaeden Lane was busy early but didn’t see much rubber in the tail end of the game and remained perfect for his league-leading 4th shutout of the season and 10th win of the campaign in making 20 saves while Logan Terness turned aside 39 of the 44 shots thrown his way in his 4th loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 5-0 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 44-20 Vees
VEES PP: 1/4
VEES PK: 4/4
1) Liam Malmquist (1-2-3)
2) Luc Wilson (2-0-2)
3) Kaeden Lane (20-save shutout)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Grayson Arnott (1-0-1)
Two days off for the Penticton Vees (12-1-0-1) sees them back in action on Thursday night against the Cranbrook Bucks (2-10-0-1) at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with the game broadcasted live on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as on HockeyTV.com beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.