The Penticton Vees took a commanding 2-0 lead in the Doyle Cup final against the Brooks Bandits on the weekend, thanks in part to great performances by Trail native Travis St. Denis and Vees goalie Michael Garteig.
In the first game Friday, St. Denis had a four-point night as the Vees pounded the Bandits 7-2 in front of over 2,000 fans at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks, Alta.
In Game 2 Vees goalie Garteig stole the show Saturday, in his first game back between the pipes since Feb. 26, getting a shut out in a 1-0 win.
Wade Murphy’s goal 5:48 into the first period was all the scoring Penticton would need as Garteig made his playoff debut turning aside all 43 shots faced, including 18 in the first period. The Vees went 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Bandits failed to capitalize on seven chances.
A two-goal effort by Logan Johnson helped the Penticton Vees hammer the Bandits in the opening game.
St. Denis assisted four times including setting up Johnston, the Vees captain, as he opened the scoring in the first period on the power play then gave the Vees a 3-0 lead, which proved to be the winner. Also having a strong offensive night for the Vees were Mario Lucia with a goal and three assists.
Other Vees scorers were Joey Benik, Wade Murphy and Bryce Gervais. The Vees were 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Bandits went 1-for-4. Vees netminder Chad Katunar made 24 saves for the win, while Bandits goalie Jan Obernesser was pulled after allowing six goals on 19 shots. He was relieved by Michael Fredrick, who allowed one goal in 14 minuts of action.
The Doyle Cup will now shift to Penticton with Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre with puck drop at 7 p.m.
In the Keystone Cup tournament, the B.C. representative from Abbotsford breezed through the round robin before taking the final in decisive fashion with a 9-1 victory over the Thunder Bay Northern Hawks.
Saskatoon, Sask. hosted this year’s tournament that showcases the best Junior B teams in western Canada.
The Hawks jumped out to an early 1-0 lead but the Pilots turned on the jets, scoring nine unanswered goals.
Riley Lamb and Justin Dorey led the way with seven-points each. Lamb potted four goals and three assists while Dorey added two goals and five helpers.
The two led tournament scorers, Dorey with 10-11-21 and Lamb with 8-10-18 in six games.
The Pilots won four of five in the round robin, beating the Hawks 7-4 to open the tournament, the Arborg Ice Dawgs 10-0, the Saskatoon Royals 6-1, and the Traveland RV Storm 3-0, before losing a meaningless game to the Whitecourt Wolverines 8-1. The Wolverines beat Saskatoon for the bronze, 7-4.