Over 3,700 people at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Friday, April 29 watched Penticton Vees forward Jackson Nieuwendyk score his first career B.C. Hockey League hat trick in the opening game of the Interior Conference Finals.
Nieuwendyk, the son of NHL Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk, found the back of the net three times against the West Kelowna Warriors to dazzle the Peach City crowd on Friday night.
The feat didn’t go unnoticed by those in attendance, with some even showing their appreciation for Nieuwendyk by throwing their own personal hats onto the ice in recognition of the three-goal performance.
The Vees forward completed his hat trick in the third period when he scored the team’s eighth goal of the night, while shorthanded.
Penticton would cruise to an 8-1 victory, thanks to Nieuwendyk’s efforts and a six-goal second period.
After a scoreless opening frame, the Vees stunned the Warriors early in the second period with an onslaught of offensive pressure.
Penticton scored six times in the middle frame, chasing Warriors goaltender Johnny Derrick out of the net and cueing an appearance from the backup netminder.
Warriors forward John Evans scored a shorthanded marker in the middle frame to score his team’s first and only goal of the night, much to the liking of the several West Kelowna fans in attendance who made the trip down Highway 97.
Luc Wilson, Thomas Pichette, Bradly Nadeau and Josh Nadeau rounded out the Vees’ scoring in the first game of the conference finals, with Pichette netting a pair of markers.
Penticton will look to take a 2-0 series lead on Saturday.
The series’ second game will begin at 7 p.m. at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Tickets can be purchased at valleyfirsttix.com.
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