Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (21-5-1-2) pinned the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (12-16-3-0) in their own zone for long stretches over the course of the game Friday night en route to their 11th win in a row, 5-1.
After some big saves by Kyle Dumba the Vees were able to open the scoring off the rush. Dakota Boutin skated over the blue line in the middle of the ice before sliding the puck to the right circle for Ryan Sandelin, who let a snap shot go into the top corner over Dumba’s glove.
Despite outshooting the Silverbacks 14-4 through 20 minutes, Penticton had just the 1-0 lead thanks to a number of big saves from Dumba.
The Vees ended up with 10 power plays on the night, but the only goal on the man advantage came in the early stages of the second.
Nicky Leivermann took a shot from the top of the right circle that deflected off a Salmon Arm stick right to Taylor Ward at the left circle, and he was able to fire home his seventh of the year to make it 2-0 Penticton 5:51 into the second.
The Silverbacks got their only goal on the night while shorthanded. After the Vees failed to clear the zone, Rhett Kingston took the puck to the net but was stopped by Adam Scheel. The rebound popped out in front of the goal and was knocked in by Trey Thomas.
After a short video review to see if the puck was kicked in, it was confirmed to be a good goal as the Vees lead was cut to 2-1 halfway through the second.
The Vees regained their two-goal lead late in the period after Grant Cruikshank was stopped on a breakaway, but found his own rebound below the goal line and centred for Cassidy Bowes who tipped his sixth of the year past Dumba with 1:24 remaining in the period.
After killing off the remaining 100 seconds of a penalty to start the third, Leivermann came out of the penalty box and found a loose puck at centre. He skated down the right side before spotting Jackson Keane in the slot who rifled a shot off the crossbar and down for his fifth of the year.
The scoring was rounded out by Jared Nash as he got a piece of an Ethan McLaughlin shot off a face-off in the Salmon Arm zone. Dumba thought the puck was deflected with a high stick, and was ejected from the game for arguing with the official.
The Vees had to play the final 2:43 of the game shorthanded after Joe Leahy was called for high-sticking and roughing on the same play. Salmon Arm had some strong chances, but Scheel stood tall as he finished with 22 saves for his eighth win in a row.
Penticton now hosts the West Kelowna Warriors Friday night for the fifth meeting of the season. Scheel recorded a shutout the last time the two teams met November 29.