The Penticton Vees (4-0-0-0) search for their fifth consecutive victory to open up the Okanagan Cup as they host their long-time rival, the Vernon Vipers (0-2-0-0) on Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
PENTICTON VEES OKANAGAN CUP SCHEDULE:
Friday, September 25th vs. Salmon Arm Silverbacks (7-0 Vees) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, September 26th vs. Salmon Arm Silverbacks (8-2 Vees) (BOXSCORE)
Friday, October 2nd vs. West Kelowna Warriors (3-2 Vees) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, October 3rd @ West Kelowna Warriors (3-2 Vees/SO) (BOXSCORE)
Wednesday, October 7th vs. Vernon Vipers (6:00 PM)
Saturday, October 10th @ Vernon Vipers (6:00 PM)
Friday, October 16th @ West Kelowna Warriors (7:00 PM)
Saturday, October 17th vs. West Kelowna Warriors (6:00 PM)
Friday, October 23rd vs. Salmon Arm Silverbacks (6:00 PM)
Saturday, October 24th @ Salmon Arm Silverbacks (6:00 PM)
Friday, November 6th @ Vernon Vipers (6:00 PM)
Saturday, November 7th vs. Vernon Vipers (6:00 PM)
The Vees head into Wednesday night’s tilt looking to extend their record to 5-0-0-0 after a sweep of the West Kelowna Warriors a weekend ago by identical 3-2 scores. Saturday night’s triumph came in the way of a shootout with Quinn Hutson and Matteo Costantini each finding the back of the net in regulation while both also tallied in the shootout with Costantini’s marker being the difference. Yaniv Perets turned aside 30 of the 32 shots he faced, including two of the three shooters he faced in the shootout, for his 3rd Okanagan Cup victory.
The Vees and Vipers played one of the more defensive season series from a year ago, with Vernon not amassing more than two goals in any of the six games between the two teams. Penticton earned four wins in six tries against the Vernon last season, outscoring them by an 18-8 margin.
Vees Okanagan Cup Leading Scorers:
Quinn Hutson (5-3-8)
Matteo Costantini (2-5-7)
Luc Wilson (2-3-5)
Liam Malmquist (0-5-5)
Tristan Amonte (3-1-4)
Quinn Hutson continued to roll in the exhibition season, scoring his league-leading 5th goal of the Okanagan Cup in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win in West Kelowna. The Chicago, Illinois native is currently tied for the BC Hockey League lead in points with 8 while collecting a point in each of the first four exhibition games the Vees have played. In addition to his 5th Okanagan Cup goal on Saturday, the Boston University commit added an assist in the game as well as a shootout marker as the game went beyond 65 minutes of play.
Penticton looks to make it five consecutive victories to begin their Okanagan Cup, currently ranking 1st in the standings with a 4-0-0-0 record and 8 points. The Vees have outscored their opposition by a staggering 21-6 margin over the course of their first four Okanagan Cup games, holding a +15-goal differential while averaging 5.25 goals per game and surrendering just 1.50 goals against per contest.
The Vernon Vipers come into the midweek tilt after a weekend off in their Okanagan Cup schedule but will be looking for their first win of the tournament after dropping back-to-back games to West Kelowna in the opening weekend of play. The Vipers fell 4-1 in the opening game of the Okanagan Cup before dropping a 2-1 decision the following night on home ice as Kaidan Johnson tallied the only Vipers marker. Roan Clarke made the start in goal for the Vipers, dropping his first Okanagan Cup game.
Vipers Okanagan Cup Leading Scorers:
Kaidan Johnson (1-0-1)
Ryan Shostak (1-0-1)
Hunter Donohoe (0-1-1)
Colby Feist (0-1-1)
Nicholas Kent (0-1-1)
The Vipers finished the 2019/20 regular season with a 30-24-2-2 record, good for 5th in the Interior Division and were set to face the Vees in the second round of the playoffs after a five-game series win over the Wenatchee Wild before COVID-19 halted that. The season was the first for General Manager and Head Coach Jason McKee, who is back for a second season with the club and has 9 returners slated for the 2020/21 season.
Six forwards and three defenders have been playing in the Okanagan Cup who were in a Viper jersey a season ago, including forwards Colby Feist, JoJo Tanaka-Campbell, Brett Fudger, Cam McDonald, Ryan Shostak and Max Bulawka while defensemen Hunter Donohoe, Trey Taylor and Nicholas Kent return to the blue line for Vernon.
One player who is making his Vipers debut in tonight’s game is forward Zack Tonelli, who comes to Vernon from Taft School academy, where he was the team’s captain. The Brown University commit posted 9 goals and 24 points in 25 games a season ago and has hockey in his background, with his brother Jordan playing in the United States Hockey League (USHL) and father John playing a lengthy National Hockey League career. John played with the New York Islanders during their dynasty years and is a four-time Stanley Cup Champion, amassing 325 goals and 836 points in 1,028 NHL games over 14 seasons with five separate teams.
The Vees and Vipers will do battle tonight at 6:00 PM at the South Okanagan Events Centre with the game available to be viewed and listened to in multiple formats. Shaw TV is carrying the game on their local Channel 11 as well as BlueCurve Channel 105 and on Shaw Satellite Channel 299. The game is also available on pay-per-view at HockeyTV.com as well as a FREE audio stream at mixlr.com/pentictonvees.