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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Head South For Battle Against Wild

PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography

The Penticton Vees (16-4-1-0) make their way south of the border for the first time this season to play in a pair of games against the Wenatchee Wild (11-8-1-1) beginning on Friday night at the Town Toyota Center.

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REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE vs. WENATCHEE

Friday, October 5th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (5-3 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, November 8th @ Town Toyota Center (7:05 PM)

Saturday, November 9th @ Town Toyota Center (7:05 PM)

Saturday, November 16th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:00 PM)

Wednesday, December 4th @ Town Toyota Center (6:00 PM)

Friday, February 21st @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)

Saturday, February 22nd @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:00 PM)

The Vees enter Friday night’s matchup after their second Wicked Wednesday of the season, facing off against the Trail Smoke Eaters on Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre and falling by a 4-1 score. Steve Holtz scored the lone goal in the game for the Vees early in the 3rd period while Yaniv Perets turned aside 25 of the 28 shots he faced in his 3rd loss of the season.

Friday night will mark the second of the six-game series between the Vees and Wild with Penticton earning the opening win in a 5-3 victory in early October at the BCHL Showcase Festival presented by Bauer at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Colton Kalezic scored twice in the opening part of the game while Jackson Niedermayer, Jay O’Brien and Lukas Sillinger added singles in the win. Former Vees netminder Derek Krall made 26 saves on 29 shots in the win.

Vees Leading Scorers:

Jay O’Brien (11-19-30)

Danny Weight (9-15-24)

Lukas Sillinger (8-14-22)

David Silye (5-16-21)

Colton Kalezic (7-8-15)

Penticton will look to keep their success going when playing away from home, having done it more than any other team in the BCHL. The Vees have amassed a 13-2-0-0 record when on the road, outscoring their opposition by a 69-36 margin over those 15 games. During a four-game winning streak while on the road, the Vees outscored their opponents 17-8 over that span with the power play being a big contributor to that offensive success, going 5-for-12 in those four victories.

With an assist on Steve Holtz 3rd period goal on Wednesday night, Vees forward Jay O’Brien saw his point streak extend to six games. The Boston University commit has tallied three goals and five assists for eight points over that six-game stretch while pacing the Vees in scoring with 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 points. The Hingham, Massachusetts native currently ranks 3rd in the BCHL with his 30 points while 11 goals has him in a tie for 8th in the league.

Third-year Vees forward Lukas Sillinger comes into Friday night’s game with plenty of production over his last few games, tallying at least a point in six of his last seven contests. The University of Nebraska-Omaha commit is sitting just over a point-per-game on the season with 8 goals and 14 assists for 22 points over the course of 21 games. The Regina, Saskatchewan native has four goals and three assists for seven points over his last six matchups.

The Wenatchee Wild enter Friday night’s game after winning back-to-back games on home ice a weekend ago against the Merritt Centennials, earning a 5-2 win on Friday night before picking up a 6-4 victory on Saturday at the Town Toyota Center. Hunter Hastings scored twice in the game while Trevor Griebel, Tyler Young, Quinn Emerson and Brett Chorske added singles in the triumphant effort. Noah Altman stopped 12 of the 16 shots he faced in his 5th win of the season between the pipes.

Wild Leading Scorers:
Nick Cafarelli (10-11-21)

Tyler Young (4-16-20)

Brett Chorske (7-11-18)

Brian Adams (10-6-16)

Trevor Griebel (4-8-12)

Leading the Wild in scoring is first-year forward Nick Cafarelli, who has scored 10 goals and added 11 assists for 21 points on the season. The University of New Hampshire commit comes into Friday night’s action after a strong offensive weekend against the Centennials, scoring once and adding four helpers for a five-point weekend. The Middleton, Massachusetts native is tops amongst rookie scorers in the BCHL with his 21 points while also leading all rookies in power play goals with six on the season.

The start of the season has seen the Wild play a lot of games against their own division, playing 17 of their 21 games against Interior Division foes. Wenatchee has held a record of 9-6-1-1 against division opponents, including a strong showing on home ice with a 7-3-0-1 record at the Town Toyota Center against Interior Division teams. Wenatchee has outscored their opposition by a 42-38 margin over that time, including wins in four of their last six games at home.

Home ice has seen the Wild post a 7-4-1-0 record at the Town Toyota Center but an area in which they have excelled on home ice has been the power play. Wenatchee is the top ranked team in the league when it comes to power play percentage at home, going 17-for-61 with the man advantage for a 27.9% clip when up a man. Overall, the Wild sit 3rd in the BCHL with a 24.5% power play, which has scored 25 goals on 102 attempts.

The Vees and the Wild drop the puck on the second of their six-game season set at 7:05 PM at the Town Toyota Center with the game being broadcasted live on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as HockeyTV.com. The pre-game show gets underway at 6:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.