Sunday, December 21, 2014 - Submitted by Wayne Moore
Patrick Newell scored three times and the Penticton Vees completed a sweep of a home-and-home series with the West Kelowna Warriors winning 7-2 Saturday night at Royal LePage Place.
The win came on the heels of Penticton's 4-2 win on home ice Friday.
The Warriors were in it through much if the first 40 minutes but some sloppy giveaways and bad bounces in front of rookie netminder Mike Lenko in the third led to four Penticton goals as the Vees won going away.
Jason Cotton early in the second period and Brett Mennear on a nifty shorthanded breakaway midway through the third scored for the Warriors.
Taylor Ward, Steen Cooper, Connor Chartier and Dakota Conroy also scored for Penticton.
"I thought we were okay through about the first 30 (minutes) for the most part. The chances were about even and a couple of unfortunate bounces," says Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster.
"But we gave up too many to expect to win tonight."
Penticton jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead before the Warriors finally got on the board when Cotton banged home a rebound from the low slot two minutes into the second.
The turning point of the game came late in the second.
Enjoying a man advantage with a faceoff in the Penticton end, the clock didn't start giving the Warriors an extra 20 to 25 seconds on the power-play and extending the period by that length of time.
West Kelowna was unable to capitalize, however, the Vees were scoring a power-play goal of their own with less than five second left in the period. A goal that would not have scored had the clock been wound down those extra seconds.
"It's funny how those things go. You have an extended power-play I guess because of the clock then it comes back to bite you. Hockey has a funny way of doing those things," says Ferster.
The teams traded goals through the first half of the third before Penticton scored three late goals to make the score look worse than the play indicated.
The back-to-back defeats leaves the Warriors third in the Interior Division, six points in back of second place Vernon and a pint up on Merritt.
The Centennials hold a game in hand.
The Warriors are now off for an eight day Christmas break. They don't play again until Dec 28 in Trail.
The break comes at an ideal time for the Warriors who are nursing a number of injuries, especially between the pipes with both Andy Desautels (appendectomy) and Scott Patton (lower body) on the shelf.
"it will be nice to get away and recharge.I think some of the guys need that"
With just 23 games remaining on the schedule after the break, Ferster says it will probably come down to the wire before anyone knows who will finish second through sixth in the Interior Division.
"I've said before you can take those five teams, chuck them in a hat and pull them out and I don't think anyone will be surprised where you would finish.
It's going to be a battle. If the first 30-odd games were any indication it will probably be a battle right down to game 58."
Ferster says that kind of battle will show the character of the group because everyone knows how tight the games will become.
The Warriors first home game after the break comes Tuesday, Dec. 30 when they host the same Trail Smoke Eaters.