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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Head To North Okanagan Looking For Sixth Consecutive Victory

The Penticton Vees (5-0-0-0) search for their sixth consecutive victory to open the Okanagan Cup tournament with a trip to the North Okanagan to face-off against the Vernon Vipers (0-3-0-0) on Saturday night at Kal Tire Place

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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 (4-0 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

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)

Penticton comes into Saturday night’s contest looking to make it back-to-back victories against Vernon after earning their second shutout of the Okanagan Cup in a 4-0 defeat of the Vipers on Wednesday night. Quinn Hutson, Devlin O’Brien, Fin Williams and Matteo Costantini each tallied markers in the victory for the Vees while Kaeden Lane pushed aside each of the 18 shots he faced in his 1st shutout of the Okanagan Cup and his 2nd win of the exhibition campaign.

Vees Okanagan Cup Leading Scorers:

Quinn Hutson (6-3-9)

Matteo Costantini (3-6-9)

Liam Malmquist (0-7-7)

Luc Wilson (2-3-5)

Owen Murray (0-5-5)

Wednesday was a particularly good day for one Vees forward as Matteo Costantini netted a goal in his third consecutive game while also seeing his name attached to a National Hockey League team, being selected 131st overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. The St. Catharines, Ontario native has produced a strong start to his Okanagan Cup with the Vees, scoring 3 goals and adding 6 assists for 9 points and trails just Quinn Hutson for the team lead in goal scoring.

Although he has not found the back of the net yet in this exhibition season, Liam Malmquist has found plenty of ways to contribute to the lineup with a team-leading seven assists through his first five games. The Wisconsin University commit has notched a point in each of his first five games of the Okanagan Cup after having a strong rookie season last year with the Vees, posting 16 goals and 23 assists for 39 points in all 58 regular season games. The Edina, Minnesota native also added 2 goals and 5 points in 5 playoff games a season ago and leads all BC Hockey Leaguers in helpers.

Special teams was a helper in the victory on Wednesday night and has been a consistent contributor in the Vees victories over the course of the Okanagan Cup. Penticton’s six power play goals leads all BCHL clubs while operating at a 30% clip on the man advantage ranks them second in power play percentage. The penalty kill has been equally as strong for Penticton, surrendering just one goal on 21 attempts, operating at 95.2% through the first five games of the Okanagan Cup.

The Vernon Vipers look to get their offensive game going on Saturday night, coming off of their third consecutive loss to open their Okanagan Cup schedule in a 4-0 shutout defeat at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Wednesday. Roan Clarke was a major standout for the Vipers in between the pipes as the 17-year-old netminder turned aside 30 of the 34 shots he faced and made some big saves in the process.

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)

With only two goals in their opening three games of the Okanagan Cup, the Vipers are looking for offence and one of the new sources that could create some goals is forward Ethan Mercer. The Slave Lake, Alberta native potted 17 goals a season ago with the Northern Alberta X-Treme, finishing the season with 31 points in 36 games played. The 6’3”, 200-pound forward has averaged nearly a point per game at each level he has played, between U15, U16 and U18 hockey.

The Vees and Vipers square off in their second matchup of the week, this time changing venues and moving to Kal Tire Place for tonight’s showdown. 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 to watch on HockeyTV.com.