Ben Dalpe didn’t disappoint in his debut, as he setup both Vees goals, as Penticton edged the Victoria Grizzlies 2-1 Friday afternoon at the BCHL Bauer Showcase in Chilliwack.
Dalpe had a hand in Ryan Gropp’s game-winner late in the second period. During the Vees third power-play, Dalpe worked the puck to Gropp on the boards, who then stick-handled into the slot and wired a wrist-shot off the post and past the outstretched arm of Grizzlies goaltender Nic Renyard; Gropp’s first at 18:46.
Brad McClure scored the first goal of the BCHL season just sixty-eight seconds into the first period. McClure was hit with a pass from Gropp out of the corner and made no mistake from the hash marks beating Renyard on the blocker-side. Dalpe fed the puck to Gropp in the corner, who then threaded the needle to the Vees Captain.
The lead held up late into the first period before the Grizzlies drew even on a point-shot from Nick Charif. Leo Fitzgerald worked the puck free on the wall and dished it back to Charif who let a wrist-shot go that found its way through a maze of bodies and just under the arm of Olivier Mantha at 14:45; the only blemish on a solid 25-save performance by the Vees goaltender.
McClure and Dalpe both had great chances to add an insurance marker in the latter stages of third. Gropp dashed down the left-wing before centering the puck to a streaking McClure but he couldn’t corral the pass on his back-hand. Dalpe, the trailer, tried to pull the trigger on the loose puck but had his stick break in two at the worst possible time.
Final Score: 2-1 Vees
Shots: 26-23 Victoria
Power-Play: Vees 1/3 Victoria 0/3
Three Stars: 1) Ben Dalpe 2) Olivier Mantha 3) Gerry Fitzgerald (Victoria)
The Vees play their second and final game of the BCHL Bauer Showcase Saturday afternoon, when the face-off against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs; puck drop 3:30. Fans can watch the game on www.fasthockey.com or listen to the Vees free audio-only stream at www.mixlr.com/penticton-vees