VEES SET SEMIFINAL FIELD, ELIMINATE GOLDEN HAWKS WITH SHUTOUT WIN
JASON LA ROSE
COBOURG, Ont. – Nicholas Jones paced the offence with a goal and two assists, helping the Penticton Vees to a 4-0 win over the Trenton Golden Hawks in the lone game Wednesday at the 2017 RBC Cup.
The victory means the four teams who will play in the semifinals on Saturday are set – the Vees will join the Cobourg Cougars, Brooks Bandits and Cobras de Terrebonne in the final four.
The match-ups for the semis will be decided in the final preliminary-round games Thursday.
The Golden Hawks saw their season come to an end with a power outage; after taking a 2-0 lead into the second intermission against Terrebonne on Sunday night, Trenton was outscored 15-0 over its final seven periods.
Penticton didn’t waste time opening the scoring, striking before the five-minute mark. Sam Rossini carried the puck from his own end deep into Trenton territory before flipping a pass over to Ty Amonte, who went to the backhand to beat Golden Hawks goaltender Chris Janzen.
Jones doubled the advantage just past the 14-minute mark of the second period, taking a pass from Gabe Bast and beating Janzen to the glove side to make it 2-0.
He was in on the third goal, as well; the Vees worked the puck around on the power play, with 15-year-old Massimo Rizzo finishing the tic-tac-toe set-up in the final minute of the middle frame to send Penticton to the dressing room in control.
Trenton tested Vees netminder Mat Robson in the third period, but he made the final nine of his 21 saves to earn the shutout. Robson has a tournament-best 1.26 goals-against average and .954 save percentage through three games.
Grant Cruikshank capped the scoring midway through the final frame, stuffing a loose puck past Janzen.
Penticton finished with a 32-21 advantage in shots on goal, helped by nine power plays.
The Vees will wrap up their preliminary-round schedule on Thursday, taking on the Cobras de Terrebonne (3:30 p.m. ET). The BCHL champions can still finish anywhere from first to fourth, depending on Thursday results.