September 30, 2017
After missing the first four games of the regular season, Grant Cruikshank made his presence known in the home opener for the Penticton Vees (5-0-0-0) as he scored the game-winning goal in the third period of the 2-1 win over the West Kelowna Warriors (4-3-0-0).
Before puck drop, the Vees raised three banners to the roof at the South Okanagan Events Centre: Interior Division Regular Season Champions, Interior Division Playoff Champions and Fred Page Cup BCHL Champions.
The Vees controlled play for the majority of the opening period and had a 13-3 shot advantage after the first, but the game remained scoreless.
Nearly halfway through the second, Penticton got on the board. After Nik Amundrud made a great save on Dakota Boutin in tight, Boutin stuck with the play and got his own rebound past Amundrud near the bottom of the right circle to open the scoring. Jared Nash and Nicky Leivermann got the assists on Boutin’s second of the year.
The line of Cassidy Bowes, Ryan Sandelin and Massimo Rizzo had a pair of extended shifts inside the attacking zone, but weren’t able to solve Amundrud who was standing tall in the Warriors crease. He had stopped 26 shots through two periods, while Vees’ Adam Scheel had faced just 12.
The Vees had to kill off a full penalty kill to start the third, as Boutin was called for high sticking at the end of the second. The Warriors had trouble gaining any traction, however, and the Vees easily killed off the chance.
With six and a half minutes left in the third, and while four on four, Cruikshank reintroduced himself to the SOEC. With two Warriors players at the bench on a bad line change, Cruikshank one-handed the puck around Willie Reim and had a breakaway on Amundrud.
Cruikshank gathered the puck, held on and then fired it through the five hole of Amundrud for his first of the year, giving the Vees a huge two-goal lead.
Late in the game the Vees were called for hooking and the Warriors made them pay. Chase Dubois took a pass off a face-off and ripped a wrist shot from the top of the left circle passed a screened Scheel to make it 2-1 with 1:14 left.
Scheel made a few big saves inside the final minute, and his Vees held on for the 2-1 win in front of 3,675 fans at the SOEC. The next game action for Penticton is next weekend for a home and home series with the Vernon Vipers.
The Vees will welcome Vernon on Friday before heading to Kal Tire Place on Saturday.
Game Summary: September 29, 2017, Vees 2 – Warriors 1
|04:06||WK||Cavin Tilsley, Tripping, 2 min PP|
|11:18||WK||Jake Harrison, Served by Wyatt Head, Checking from Behind minor, 2 min PP|
|11:18||WK||Jake Harrison, Game Misconduct, 0 min|
|18:51||PEN||Dakota Boutin, Hooking, 2 min PP|
|04:55||WK||Tyler Jutting, Boarding, 2 min PP|
|06:48||WK||Bennett Norlin, Slashing, 2 min PP|
|20:00||PEN||Dakota Boutin, High-sticking, 2 min PP|
|11:43||PEN||Dakota Boutin, Tripping, 2 min PP|
|12:04||WK||Stephen Kleysen, Hooking, 2 min|
|17:49||PEN||Grant Cruikshank, Hooking, 2 min PP|