MUSTANGS DROP GAME ONE
JASON LA ROSE
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – Hunter Miska stopped each and every one of the 17 shots he faced, helping the Penticton Vees to their first win at the 2015 RBC Cup, a 4-0 victory over the Melfort Mustangs on Sunday afternoon.
Miska became the first goaltender in 77 games this season – regular season and playoffs – to keep the Mustangs without a goal through a full 60 minutes.
Matt Serratore, Jack Ramsey, Connor Chartier and Tyson Jost scored for the Vees, who bounced back from Saturday’s tournament-opening 3-2 loss to the Portage Terriers to even their record.
Richard Palmer had another strong performance in the Melfort goal, making 26 saves.
Serratore got the festivities started less than four minutes after the puck dropped, redirecting a Patrick Sexton wrist shot past Palmer, and Ramsey found a loose puck in a scramble before lifting a backhand over the outstretched Melfort netminder at 16:56 to make it 2-0 Vees after one period.
Chartier pushed the advantage to 3-0 at 4:54 of the second, jamming in the rebound of a Dante Fabbro shot on a Penticton power play for the lone goal of the middle frame.
The Vees defence smothered Melfort through the first 40 minutes, keeping the usually high-scoring Mustangs to just six shots on goal as the game passed its halfway mark, and 10 after two periods.
Jost capped the scoring six minutes into the third period, finishing a pretty give-and-go with Demico Hannoun, making him the only player to score goals at the TELUS Cup, World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, World Junior A Challenge and RBC Cup.
Miska had to be at his best in the third period, particularly in the dying minutes when the Mustangs swarmed the Penticton net hoping to spoil the shutout; he made seven of his 17 saves in the final frame.
The Vees will enjoy an off day Monday before they’re back on the ice at the PCU Centre to take on the Carleton Place Canadians on Tuesday afternoon (2 p.m. CT), while the Mustangs will meet the Soo Thunderbirds in Monday’s lone game (7 p.m. CT).