Photo credit: Jack Murray
Wenatchee, WA: The Penticton Vees (22-8-2-2) began the second half of the season at Town Toyota Centre against the Wenatchee Wild (24-9-2-1) and a hat trick from Owen Sillinger wasn’t enough in the 6-3 loss.
Sillinger opened the scoring with an innocent wrist shot from the left wall coming down the rush, catching Seth Eisele sleeping for his 16th of the year just 1:32 into the game.
A little over six minutes later, AJ Vanderbeck had a breakaway from the high slot after a turnover at the Vees blue line. He went forehand backhand on Nolan Hildebrand to tie the game at one, the same score it was through 20 minutes.
While the first period was even, the Wild took over in the second. Vanderbeck scored his second of the game on a power play 3:25 into the frame. Just 46 seconds later, Jasper Weatherby extended the Wild lead with his 26th of the season.
The Vees got a goal back after Sillinger converted on a nice centring feed from below the goal line by Jared Nash for his second of the night.
Just under three minutes later, Chad Sasaki restored the Wild’s two-goal lead with a wrist shot from the right circle, beating Hildebrand glove side.
Sam Morton rounded out the scoring in the period with 2:46 left, signalling the end of the night for Hildebrand as Adam Scheel was thrust into relief duty for the remainder of the game.
Josh Arnold scored the Wild’s second power-play goal of the game after the Wild held the puck in the Vees zone for an entire 1:36. A gassed Vees penalty kill unit couldn’t clear the zone, and after Scheel made one stop on Vanderbeck, Arnold slid the rebound home to make it 6-2.
Sillinger completed his hat trick just two seconds after a power play had expired, shovelling in a cross-ice feed from Jonny Tychonick in front of the net with 4:49 left in the third. The goal set a new career high for Sillinger, his 18th goal of the year.
Despite the third period being as even as the first, the big second period by the Wild was too much for the Vees to overcome as the game ended 6-3.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at 7:05.