PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
The Penticton Vees (15-3-1-0) make their way to the Provincial Capital in search of their fifth straight win for their first matchup of the season against the Victoria Grizzlies (7-14-0-0) on Saturday night at The Q Centre.
2019/20 REGULAR SEASON VS. VICTORIA
Friday, November 2nd @ The Q Centre (7:00 PM)
Saturday, January 4th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:00 PM)
The Vees come into Saturday night’s contest after earning their fourth straight victory in a 5-3 win over the Surrey Eagles on Friday night at the South Surrey Arena. Lukas Sillinger, Tristan Amonte and Liam Malmquist scored before Tyler Ho tallied a late 3rd period marker that stood up as the game winning goal. Jay O’Brien added an empty net marker while Carl Stankowski turned aside 32 of the 35 shots he faced in his 2nd victory of the season.
Penticton and Victoria split the two-game season series against one another during the 2018/19 campaign with each team winning on home ice. The Vees fell by a 4-3 score to the Grizzlies at The Q Centre in mid-September before the two teams met at the South Okanagan Events Centre with the Vees earning a 4-1 victory to split the season set. Last season’s series set was the third straight season in which the Vees and Grizzlies have split a season series with each of the home team’s winning the last seven games.
Vees Leading Scorers:
Jay O’Brien (10-18-28)
Danny Weight (9-13-20)
Lukas Sillinger (7-13-20)
David Silye (5-15-20)
Colton Kalezic (7-7-14)
Playing on the road has become something of a normality for the Vees to begin the season with 14 of their first 19 games on the year being away from the South Okanagan Events Centre. Penticton owns the BC Hockey League’s best record on the road with a 12-2-0-0 line with those 12 wins being four more than the second closest team in the Trail Smoke Eaters. The Vees have also played at least three more road games than any other squad and lead the league in goals for while away from home with 65 and a goal differential of +30.
It couldn’t have been a better homecoming for Vees forward Tyler Ho, who scored the game winning goal with 1:52 remaining in the 3rd period of Friday night’s win. The Surrey, BC native found the back of the net for the second straight game and now has two goals in his three contests in a Vees jersey. The 19-year-old sits just one goal shy of his total amount of tallies from a season ago where he amassed 3 goals in 30 games during the 2018/19 campaign.
Vees captain David Silye has been locked in a scoring groove over the last handful of games as he comes into Saturday night’s action carrying a five-game point streak with him. The Clarkson University commit has registered a goal and seven assists for eight points in that five-game span, including a pair of assists on Friday night. The Arnprior, Ontario native is now second on the team in assists with 15 helpers this season and is tied with Lukas Sillinger for 3rd in scoring amongst the Vees with 20 points.
The Victoria Grizzlies enter the game on Saturday night looking to get back in the win column after a 5-2 loss to the Vernon Vipers on Friday night at The Q Centre. Nico Somerville and Trevor Bishop tallied in the game for the Grizzlies while Joe How kicked aside 27 of the 32 shots he faced in the defeat.
Grizzlies Leading Scorers:
Henri Schreifels (8-10-18)
Cody Monds (6-10-16)
Nico Somerville (3-12-15)
Marty Westhaver (5-8-13)
Darwin Lakoduk (5-7-12)
The Grizzlies have a bit of a different make up to their roster from a season ago with 9 players returning from a season ago including forward and captain Marty Westhaver. Darwin Lakoduk, Henri Schreifels, Stephen Konroyd and Edward Yan round out the forwards with Westhaver while Nico Somerville, Brady MacDonald, Reid Lindsay and Jake Veilleux. Adding experience to the lineup was the acquisition of Bryce Anderson from the Trail Smoke Eaters as well as Trevor Bishop, who spent the 2017/18 season with the Grizzlies.
Getting set into his fourth season with the Grizzlies is 20-year-old defender Nico Somerville, who has played a total of 173 games over the course of his BCHL career. The Port Alberni, BC native has points in three of his last four games, scoring once to go along with three assists in that span and recently earned a scholarship to the American Institute College (AIC) over the course of last week.
Carrying the mail in goal for the Grizzlies over the course of the season thus far has been 18-year-old netminder Joe Howe, who sits 5th in the league in minutes played with over 900. The Barrie, Ontario native holds a very nice .902 SV% over his 15 games played this season while facing an average of 39 shots per game each and every night.
The Vees and Grizzlies will be set to hit the ice at 7:00 PM at The Q Centre with the opening face-off while the game will be available via broadcast with the game available on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as HockeyTV.com beginning at 6:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.