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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Host Rivermen On Wicked Wednesday

PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography

The Penticton Vees (30-10-1-1) host their fourth Wicked Wednesday of the season as they look for their fourth win in a row, taking on the Langley Rivermen (18-18-1-1-1) on Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

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REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE vs. LANGLEY

Tuesday, November 19th @ George Preston Arena (4-3 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

Wednesday, January 8th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:30 PM)

The Vees will look to make it four wins in a row to begin the 2020 portion of their schedule after an exciting opening week of the New Year, culminating in an 8-4 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Jackson Niedermayer earned his first career BCHL hat-trick while Tristan Amonte tallied a pair of goals in the win. Tyler Ho, David Silye and Steve Holtz also added singles in the game while Yaniv Perets started in the game, stopping 10 of the 14 shots he faced before being relieved by Carl Stankowski, who made saves on all 6 shots he faced in his 7th win of the season.

Penticton will look to earn the season sweep against the Rivermen after a 4-3 victory in Langley at George Preston Arena in the middle of November. Darwin Lakoduk scored his first goal as a Vee while Colton Kalezic, Liam Malmquist and Tristan Amonte each found the back of the net in the victory. Yaniv Perets turned aside 21 of the 24 shots thrown his way for the win in between the pipes.

Vees Leading Scorers:

Jay O’Brien (15-32-47)

Lukas Sillinger (15-29-44)

David Silye (15-29-44)

Danny Weight (17-26-43)

Jackson Niedermayer (16-15-31)

After missing the last nine games due to an injury, Vees forward Jay O’Brien makes his return to the lineup tonight against the Rivermen. The 19th overall draft selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers will come back to the Vees lineup for the first time since December 4th in Wenatchee and remains Penticton’s leading scorer with 15 goals and 32 assists for 47 points in 33 games played. The Boston University commit ranks 4th in league scoring while being tied for 2nd in the BCHL in assists with his 32.

It was a good week for forward Jackson Niedermayer to open up 2020, which was rewarded with a Player of the Week award from the BCHL. The University of Arizona State commit collected five goals and an assist for six points in three games to help the Vees to three victories after their holiday break. The Penticton, BC native sits second in team scoring with 16 goals on the season while earning 31 points in his 40 games played this season, including his first career BCHL hat-trick and four-point night against the Grizzlies on Saturday.

The Vees will look to make it four straight victories to open up the New Year and have been on the right side of the score in five of their last six games and have points in each of those games, outscoring their opposition by a 29-14 margin over that span. On home ice, Penticton has played very well, scoring 4 or more goals in each of their last six games at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The Langley Rivermen enter Wednesday’s game sitting in 3rd place in the Mainland Division with an 18-18-1-1-1 record and are coming off of a 7-2 victory over the Surrey Eagles on Saturday night at George Preston Arena. Matthew Hubbarde tallied his first career BCHL hat-trick while Tristan Fraser, Brendan Budy, Joseph Musa and Kaeden Patrick each registered singles in the win. Braedon Fleming pushed aside 25 of the 27 shots he faced for his 16th win of the season.

Rivermen Leading Scorers:
Brendan Budy (17-26-43)

Jake Livingstone (8-29-37)

Tristan Fraser (12-16-28)

Joseph Musa (11-17-28)

Devin Leduc (13-12-25)

Rivermen forward Matthew Hubbarde has been a welcome addition to the offense, scoring 7 goals and adding 11 assists for 18 points in his 16 games played this season, joining the team from the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) Jamestown Rebels. The Pickering, Ontario native tallied his first career BCHL hat-trick on Saturday night in the Riv’s 7-2 win over Surrey and has registered a point in three of his last four games, posting four goals and an assist for five points in that span.

Scoring a goal in each of the last five games, the Rivermen power play has been heating up at a big time. Over the span of those five contests, Langley’s man advantage has gone 6-for-25, operating at a 24.0% rate, including going 2-for-5 on Saturday night on home ice. Overall for the season, Langley’s power play has been rolling along at 19.3%, ranking 7th in the BCHL while the penalty kill sits at 12th in the league, working at 78.7%.

Playing on the road has been somewhat of unfamiliar territory for the Rivermen this season, having played a league-low 15 games away from home but that will soon change as Langley begins the first of a nine-game stretch away from George Preston Arena. The Rivermen are working off of a six-game home stand, which saw them go 2-3-0-1 in that stretch and will not be back on home ice until February 2nd.

The Vees and Rivermen will play the second of their two-game season series on Wicked Wednesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Puck drop is slated for 6:30 PM with tickets for the game just $5 and available for purchase at the Valley First Box Office as well as online at ValleyFirstTix.com.

The Vees will be paying homage to their 1955 World Championship team with retro jerseys and a weekend home-and-home against the Trail Smoke Eaters. Penticton will play Trail on Saturday, January 11th at the SOEC with a special ticket promotion available. A special price of $10.55 will be available with the purchase of a ticket to Wednesday night’s game. The promotion ends at 6:30 PM on Wednesday night. Tickets are available at the SOEC Box Office.