PETROLIA – Thursday was ex-Blenheim Blade Michael Vanek’s 22nd
birthday, and he celebrated in style scoring twice as his Petrolia Flyers
defeated the Blades 4-1 in Game 3 of the best-of-seven PJHL Western
Conference Tier 2 finals in Petrolia.
The Flyers now lead the series 2-1, with Game 4 Sunday at 7 p.m. at
the Blenheim arena, followed by Game 5 Thursday in Petrolia at 7:30.
Vanek, of Dresden, began his Junior ‘C’ career by playing two seasons
for the Blades before switching to the Flyers when he started
attending Lambton College in Sarnia.
Vanek now has scored six goals in the Tier 2 round-robin and final
playoffs after getting just two in the regular season.
Petrolia jumped in front 1-0 thanks to Vanek’s powerplay goal at
8:18 of the first period, with the Blades Ian Campbell tying things at
16:03 with his fourth of the Tier 2 playoffs.
Seth Henderson and Tyler Ewald assisted on the play.
The Flyers then went up 3-1 on second-period goals by Daniel Gibson
at 11:01 and Vanek at 16:15, before icing the victory thanks to an
empty net third-period goal at 18:43 by Andrew Jaques.
In the second period Jaques was awarded a penalty shot at 18:07
that was stopped by Blenheim netminder Caleb Pinsonneault.
BLADES BITS: The Blades were again short regulars as Tate Bowden
(serving the last on his seven-game suspension), Trent Amaro (serving
the last on his four-game suspension), defencemen Ryan Terry,
Sebastian Stubberfield and Cameron Hazzard, and forward Jared
Delaey were not available…APs that played were defenceman Owen
Reeve and forward Landon Hoskins…After being outshot 15-8 in the
first period, Blenheim outshot Petrolia 31-21 over the second and
third periods but could not beat Flyers netminder Tyler Richardson.