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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Host Silverbacks In First Place Matchup At SOEC

PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography

The Penticton Vees (21-4-0-2) return to action for the first time since New Year’s Day as they get set to host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (22-4-1-0) in a battle of the top teams in the BC Hockey League on Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

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2021/22 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE: 

Friday, December 10th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (4-3 Silverbacks/SO) (BOXSCORE)

Wednesday, January 12th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:30 PM)

Wednesday, February 4th @ Shaw Centre (7:00 PM)

Wednesday, February 16th @ Shaw Centre (7:00 PM)

Wednesday, February 23rd @ Shaw Centre (7:00 PM)

Wednesday, March 9th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:30 PM)

Penticton will look to get back into the win column on Wednesday night, playing their first game in 11 days after falling by a 4-3 score in a shootout to the West Kelowna Warriors on New Year’s Day at Royal LePage Place. Ethan Mann, Brett Moravec and Thomas Pichette each had goals in the game before not registering a goal in the shootout. Carter Serhyenko turned aside 21 of the 24 shots he faced and made saves on one of the two shooters in the shootout in his 1st shootout loss of the season.

The Vees and Silverbacks play the second of their six game season series after a 4-3 shootout win for Salmon Arm in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre in early December. Jackson Nieuwendyk, Brett Moravec and Josh Nadeau each found the back of the net for the Vees in regulation before Penticton could not find a goal in the shootout and fell in the game. Kaeden Lane turned aside 17 of the 20 shots thrown his way and one of the two shooters he faced in the shootout in defeat.

Vees Leading Scorers:
Luc Wilson (15-24-39)

Fin Williams (12-25-37)

Josh Nadeau (20-14-34)

Brett Moravec (14-11-25)

Bradly Nadeau (10-15-25)

Although the Vees have been off since New Year’s Day, Penticton has made a couple of additions that will be making their Vees and BCHL on Wednesday night. The first comes in the way of defenseman Braden Doyle, who joined the team from Boston University. The Lynnfield, Massachusetts native played 8 games with the Terriers earlier this season before making the move to Penticton. Doyle was selected 157th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2019 National Hockey League Entry Draft and will wear #74 on the Vees blue line.

The other new face in the lineup for the Vees on Wednesday night will be forward Adam Eisele, who makes his debut after rehabbing an off-season injury. The Lake Elmo, Minnesota native played last season with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League (USHL) where he collected two goals and four points in eight games. Eisele joins Vees forward Luc Wilson as a commit of the University of Minnesota State-Mankato.

It will be a matchup of not only the best two records in the BCHL on Wednesday when the Vees and Silverbacks meet but the two best teams when playing at home and on the road. Penticton is the only team in the league with no regulation losses at home, owning a 13-0-0-1 record at the SOEC this season while Salmon Arm is the lone team in the BCHL with no regulation losses on the road, collecting an 11-0-1-0 record while away from home.

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks, similarly to the Vees, have been off since January 2nd which was a 4-1 victory over the Vernon Vipers at the Shaw Centre. Nathan Mackie, Daniel Panetta, affiliate player Zakery Anderson and Noah Serdachny each found the back of the net in the win while Owen Say pushed away 24 of the 25 shots thrown his way in his 16th win of the season.

Silverbacks Leading Scorers:
Simon Tassy (23-24-47)

Noah Serdachny (14-19-33)

Brandon Santa Juana (11-20-31)

Daniel Panetta (13-13-26)

Michael Ladyman (4-15-19)

The Silverbacks possess a veteran lineup as both the Vees and ‘Backs have depth scoring throughout their roster but it is 3rd year forward Simon Tassy who sits atop the entire league in point scoring with 47 points, divided between a league-leading 23 goals and 24 assists. The Montreal, Quebec native has points in each of his last six games of play, scoring 4 goals and 9 assists for 13 points in that span, including three multi-point games. The University of Minnesota State-Mankato commit is creeping up on the century mark in games played, sitting at 98 games with 51 goals and 40 assists for 91 career points.

Goals in three straight games and four of his last five contests has Silverbacks captain Daniel Panetta ranked third in team goal scoring with 13 markers on the season. The 20-year-old slated for Colgate University has five goals in his last three games, including a hat-trick on New Year’s Day against the Vernon Vipers in the North Okanagan. The Belleville, Ontario native is fourth in team scoring on the season with his 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points.

Salmon Arm has been very impressive when playing away from home this season, having not lost a road game since October 16th and are undefeated in 10 straight games away from the Shaw Centre, scoring four or more goals in 8 of those 10 wins. Another factor for the Silverbacks that has helped them in the win column has been scoring first, holding a BCHL-best record of 16-0-0-0 when finding the back of the net first in a game. Only Salmon Arm and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (12-0-0-0) remain undefeated when potting the game’s opening goal.

The Vees and Silverbacks meet in the second of six matchups in their season series for another Wicked Wednesday at the SOEC. Puck drop is slated for 6:30 PM with tickets are just $10 and can be purchased online at valleyfirsttix.com as well as at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC. The game will also be broadcast on Bounce Radio 800 as well as BCHLTV.ca beginning with the pre-game show at 6:10 PM.