Cody DePourcq and Cam Amantea didn’t collect a point in the Penticton Vees’ 4-0 win against the Melfort Mustangs Sunday, but they still helped.
“Having Cody and Cam back in the lineup gave us a big emotional boost,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson. “We rolled four lines and structurally, we were really sound.”
Matthew Serratore sniped the game-winning goal 3:56 into the opening period, while Hunter Miska turned aside 17 shots as the Vees improved to 1-1 in the RBC Cup in Portage la Prairie, MB.
The Vees outshot the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champs 12-4 in the first period. Serratore was set up by Patrick Sexton and Riley Alferd. With just over three minutes left in the period, Jack Ramsey gave the Vees a 2-0 lead.
In the second period, which the Vees outshot the Mustangs 12-6, the only goal was scored by Connor Chartier, who fell to the ice in front of the Mustangs’ crease and beat Richard Palmer, who finished with 26 saves on the afternoon. Chartier was able to bury the power play goal on a play started by Dakota Conroy, who then fed Dante Fabbro for a shot from inside the blue line.
Nearly six minutes into the third period, on an odd-man rush, Demico Hannoun set up Tyson Jost for an easy tap in goal. The Mustangs applied some pressure, but Miska delivered when need stopping the seven shots he faced. A key stop came against Dexter Bricker as Miska got his shoulder on a rebound chance.
“Our D core played really well,” said Harbinson, “He (Miska) did a great job of fighting through screens.”
A factor that Harbinson said helped the Vees generate offence was their ability to pressure the Mustangs’ defence.
“We created havoc and turnovers,” said Harbinson, adding there was a lot of time spent in the offensive zone.
The Vees’ penalty kill was strong going four-for-four, while the power play struck once on six chances.
The Vees are back in action on Tuesday afternoon when they host the Carleton Place Canadians at the PCU Centre. That game can be watched online at www.hockeycanada.ca.