Vees steamroll Smokies

The Penticton Vees capped a stretch of six straight games on the road with a 4-1 win against the Trail Smoke Eaters on Wednesday, giving them a 5-1 record in that span.

No evidence of bus legs was visible for the Vees, as they came out firing with 20 shots in the opening period.

Jackson Keane scored the game's first goal with seven seconds remaining in the first — ending a personal 19-game goalless drought as well.

Jared Nash doubled Penticton's lead at 1:44 of the second, and the Vees held a 32-15 edge in shots after 40 minutes.

Another long goalless drought ended early in the third period when Jack Barnes scored to put Penticton up by three. The goal for Barnes was first in 24 outings.

Braeden Tuck scored on the powerplay for Trail to spoil a shutout bid by Nolan Hildebrand. Wyatt Sloboshan scored into an empty net late to secure the 4-1 score for Penticton.

Final shots were 42-27 for the Vees, who went 1-3 with the extra man and 4-5 on the penalty kill.

Penticton remains red hot in 2018 with the two points on Wednesday. They are now 12-1-0-1 in 14 games to begin the new year, and are a league-best 34-10-2-3 on the season.

Trail, however, isn't far off in the standings. The Smokies are 30-15-4-1 which puts them fourth in the BCHL.

Including the second-place Vernon Vipers and third-place Wenatchee Wild, the top-four BCHL teams are in the Interior division — which has been the case for much of the season.

Penticton now returns home for their next three games, but this week's schedule doesn't get any easier.

The Vees and Smokies will meet again on Friday, before the Vees host the Vipers on Saturday, who are 33-13-1-4 and equal in points to Penticton.

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