The Penticton Vees (9-1-0-0) return from a week off of hockey as they make their final trip on the road of the Okanagan Cup, heading into the North Okanagan to face-off against the Vernon Vipers (3-4-1-2) on Friday night at Kal Tire Place.
PENTICTON VEES OKANAGAN CUP SCHEDULE:
Friday, September 25th vs. Salmon Arm Silverbacks (7-0 Vees) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, October 3rd @ West Kelowna Warriors (3-2 Vees/SO) (BOXSCORE)
Wednesday, October 7th vs. Vernon Vipers (4-0 Vees) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, October 10th @ Vernon Vipers (4-1 Vees) (BOXSCORE)
Friday, October 16th @ West Kelowna Warriors (7-3 Vees) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, October 17th vs. West Kelowna Warriors (6-0 Vees) (BOXSCORE)
Friday, October 23rd vs. Salmon Arm Silverbacks (3-2 Vees) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, October 24th @ Salmon Arm Silverbacks (4-2 Silverbacks) (BOXSCORE)
Friday, November 6th @ Vernon Vipers (6:00 PM)
Saturday, November 7th vs. Vernon Vipers (6:00 PM)
After a week away from playing games, the Vees return to action with a 9-1-0-0 record and suffering their first loss of the Okanagan Cup tournament, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in a weekend split. Luc Wilson and Ryan Upson were the goal scorers for Penticton while Yaniv Perets started the game, making saves on 5 of the 8 shots he faced in his first Okanagan Cup loss before Kaeden Lane came on and played the remainder of the game, through the 2nd and 3rd periods, turning aside 16 of the 17 shots thrown his way.
The Vees and Vipers conclude their Okanagan Cup round robin schedule with a home-and-home weekend set while Penticton looks to keep their winning ways against Vernon alive. Outscoring the Vipers 8-1 in their first weekend of play against each other, the Vees picked up a pair of victories, including a 4-1 triumph in their last meeting at Kal Tire Place in mid-October. Jack Bar and Devlin O’Brien each tallied 1st period power play goals while Ryan McGuire and Luc Wilson added empty net tallies in the 3rd frame to help the Vees to victory. Yaniv Perets pushed aside 29 of the 30 shots thrown his way for the win in between the pipes.
Vees Okanagan Cup Leading Scorers:
Matteo Costantini (4-11-15)
Liam Malmquist (0-13-13)
Quinn Hutson (6-5-11)
Luc Wilson (4-6-10)
Jackson Niedermayer (6-3-9)
With a weekend off from play on the ice, the Vees got some good news away from the rink, with the first being a commitment to post-Junior hockey as defender Ethan Martini has earned a scholarship to Long Island University. The Trail, BC native is entering his 5th season in the BC Hockey League, splitting time between the Vees, Powell River Kings and Trail Smoke Eaters, amassing 2 goals and 20 assists for 22 points in 183 career regular season games, while adding 304 penalty minutes in that span. The 6’7”, 195-pound rearguard has also produced 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points in 36 career playoff games.
Penticton also had some good news come in the way of the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Bureau. Four current Vees were named “Players to Watch” ahead of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, with skaters receiving an ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ ranking. ‘A’ indicates a first round selection while ‘B’ projects a second-to-third round choice and ‘C’ is from the fourth to seventh round. Defender Jack Bar received a ‘B’ ranking while forward Fin Williams and blueliners Owen Murray and Jason Marsella all ranked as a ‘C’ grade. The four Vees made up a total of seven current BCHLers to make the list.
Vees Captain Fin Williams has found his offensive stride over his last handful of games, tallying points in each of his last three contests. The North Vancouver, BC native has earned 3 goals and 7 points over 9 games of the Okanagan Cup thus far, including a power play goal in that time. Over the last three games, the University of Michigan commit has registered two goals and two assists for four points, as well as producing one of the eight goals that Penticton has scored against Vernon in the tournament.
The Vernon Vipers are hoping to extend their strong play into another weekend as they collected three of a possible four points in a weekend of action against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Vernon earned a 4-1 victory on home ice on Friday night before falling by a 2-1 score in a shootout to the ‘Backs in Salmon Arm on Saturday. Luke Pakulak scored the lone Vipers marker in the defeat while newcoming netminder Koen MacInnes turned aside 17 of the 18 shots he faced in his first start with the team, including saves on two of the three shooters faced in his first shootout loss of the tournament.
Vipers Okanagan Cup Leading Scorers:
Nicholas Kent (0-6-6)
Cameron MacDonald (2-3-5)
JoJo Tanaka-Campbell (2-3-5)
Will Arquiett (3-1-4)
Ethan Mercer (3-1-4)
Since the last meeting between the two sides a month ago, the Vipers have collected points in each of their last six games while adding three wins in that span. Vernon has turned their offensive woes around, as well, by scoring 20 goals over their last 6 games while allowing 15 goals in that span.
The Vipers have a bit of a different look from the last time these two teams met, including the addition of a former Viper in the way of Josh Prokop. The Vernon, BC native returned to the lineup last weekend after playing with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League for the last season and a half, and tallied a goal and two assists for three points in the two-game weekend set. Prokop scored 21 goals and 36 points in 48 games played with the Vipers during the 2017/18 season before heading to Calgary, where the 5’11”, 190-pound forward has registered 24 goals and 40 assists for 64 points in 122 games in the WHL.
The Vees and Vipers will do battle in the third of their four-game Okanagan Cup round robin schedule tonight at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. Puck drop is slated for 6:00 PM with the game available with a FREE live audio stream at mixlr.com/pentictonvees as well as on pay-per-view at HockeyTV.com.