A hat trick and near shot-out victory extended the Penticton Vees season win streak to 22 games, earning a 7-1 victory over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.
Jackson Nieuwendyk recorded his second career hat-trick in the win and was named the first star. Spencer Smith, Frank Djurasevic and both Nadeau brothers also scored. Ethan Mann and Brett Moravec each had two assists. Six of the Vees’ seven goals were scored at even strength.
Luca Di Pasquo was less than four minutes away from his second shutout, but still picked up his 16th win and was very sharp, as he stopped 21 of 22 shots fired his way.
It was a scoreless first period, but Penticton scored four times in the second to make up for it. Spencer Smith had the first goal just before the five-minute mark, before being followed by goals from Frank Djurasevic and Jackson Nieuwendyk, who scored 41 seconds apart.
Josh Nadeau made it 4-0 near the midway point of the period, taking a loose puck in the crease after a shoot-in from centre ice bounced out in front and settled in the net.
Just 10 seconds into the third period, Bradly Nadeau followed up his brother's goal with his own to make it 5-0. Brett Moravec dropped the puck to Bradly's right of the opening face-off and his one-timer found the top corner.
Nieuwendyk grabbed his second of the night five minutes into the last period when he took a puck from a Bulldog behind their net and quickly stuffed it inside the far post on a wraparound.
Alberni Valley spoiled Di Pasquo’s shutout bid with a power play goal by Matt Kursonis at to make it 6-1. But the Vees answered right back.
Nieuwendyk scored his third goal, on the power play, with just 31 seconds left in play to put the Vees up 7-1. The 20-year-old put the puck under the goalie’s glove from the face-off circle.
The Vees next game is Saturday night against the Powell River Kings at 7 p.m.