The Penticton Vees made history at Chilliwack’s expense Tuesday night, taking a 7-0 decision over the Chiefs at Prospera Centre.
It was the 30th straight win for the BCHL’s best team, eclipsing the previous mark of 29 set by the 1988-89 New Westminster Royals.
Three bus-loads of Penticton fans made the trip down the Coquihalla, making their presence felt in section H.
They cheered jubilantly at the end as the hometown fans looked on in stunned silence.
The Vees clearly wanted to put this game away early, sending wave after wave at the Chilliwack net in the first period.
Chiefs netminder Mitch Gillam faced 17 shots and made a handful of highlight reel stops, but two pucks eluded him.
Ex-Victoria Grizzly Wade Murphy opened the scoring at 9:18. The trade deadline acquisition pounced on a loose puck in the slot and lasered it home for his 31st of the year.
The Vees kept buzzing, and doubled their lead on a power play late in period one.
With Chilliwack’s Josh Hansen in the box for elbowing, Travis St. Denis finished off a pretty three-way passing play with Lucia and Joey Benik for his 31st.
The Chiefs had one great scoring chance in the opening frame.
Malcolm Gould got a step on Penticton’s DJ Jones and and had a clear path to the net. Gould went to the backhand and had Vees keeper Michael Garteig beat. But Jones reached out in desperation, knocking the puck off Gould’s stick at the very last second.
The Chiefs recorded just four shots on goal through 20 minutes.
The home side fell further behind 1:49 into the middle frame on a goal by Mario Lucia. Ryan Reilly set him up on a two-on-one rush, feathering a pass across the goal mouth where Lucia chipped it up and over Gillam’s right shoulder.
The Vees settled into cruise control, though they still had their chances.
Joey Benik snapped one off the goal-post on a foray down the left wing, and Gillam stopped Bryce Gervais on a breakaway.
Penticton got one more before the period was done.
New York Rangers prospect Steven Fogarty rang a puck off the left goal-post, and the rebound came to Benik at the top of the right faceoff dot.
With Gillam down, Benik went up with his shot, tickling the twine for his twenty-second.
At 5:01 of period three the Vees scored their fifth. With Alexander Perron-Fontaine parked in the penalty box, Lucia parked himself in the goal-mouth and popped a rebound past Gillam for his 32nd.
A couple shifts later, Grant Nicholson cruised through the goal-mouth and punched a puck past Gillam for his fifth.
Less than a minute after that, Benik hit a goal-post and Bryce Gervais swept the rebound in on the backhand to mercifully wrap up the scoring.
The final insult had Penticton’s St. Denis taking down Chilliwack’s Spencer Graboski in a center-ice scrap.
Chiefs D-man Matthew Hutchinson fared better in a fight with Connor Reilly.
If nothing else, Chilliwack successfully killed off the two minute five-on-three power play that followed, the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal night.
The three stars were Lucia (first), DePourcq (second) and Nicholson (third).
Announced attendance was 1,947.