Vees clip Grizz to open Showcase
Sep 6, 2013 / 7:37 pm
There's something about the BCHL Showcase and nail-biting one goal victories by the Penticton Vees.
Penticton opened the Showcase Friday afternoon in Chilliwack with a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies.
A year ago, Penticton edged host Chilliwack 2-1 and got past Vernon 3-2 in overtime. In both games the Vees scored late in regulation to either win or tie the game.
Those two wins turned out to be the difference between a first and possibly second place finish in the BCHL's tight Interior Conference.
Vees coach Fred Harbinson says the two points, whether they come in the first game or the last are important in a tight playoff race.
Victoria had the better of the play over the first half of the game before the Vees found their legs and began creating chances off the forecheck.
"There wasn't a lot of ice to be had out there because both teams were moving the puck well," says Harbinson of the slow start.
"Once you got it in it was coming out. It was going both ways but we'll put the two points in our pocket and get ready for tomorrow."
Ryan Gropp had a goal and an assist to lead the Vees.
Gropp's game winner came on a late second period power-play when he took the puck along the side boards, skated into the slot and put a shot off the post and in behind former Vees netminder Nic Renyard.
Brad McClure also scored for Penticton while rookie Brad Dalpe chipped in with a pair of assists.
Nick Charif scored the lone goal for Victoria 14 minutes into the first period tying the game 1-1.
"It was a real fast paced game for game number one I thought - an afternoon game and both teams trying to figure each other out," says Harbinson.
"But, I thought it was a well played, fast paced game."
Victoria outshot the Vees 26-23 but were only able to beat Penticton netminder Olivier Mantha once.
Penticton closes out the Showcase event Saturday afternoon at 3 against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
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