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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Host Vipers In Conclusion Of Home-And-Home Set

PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography

The Penticton Vees (25-10-1-0) look to close out their weekend home-and-home set with a victory as they host the Vernon Vipers (19-12-1-1) on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

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REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE vs. VERNON

Friday, October 4th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (1-0 Vees) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, October 18th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (2-1 Vipers/OT) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, December 13th @ Kal Tire Place (2-0 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, December 14th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)

Wednesday, January 1st @ Kal Tire Place (2:00 PM)

Wednesday, January 15th @ Kal Tire Place (7:00 PM)

Saturday, February 1st @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:00 PM)

The Vees will look to even the season series and even the weekend home-and-home after the Vipers earned a 2-0 victory on Friday night at Kal Tire Place. Carl Stankowski made 20 saves on the 22 shots he faced in between the pipes for his 3rd loss of the season while the Vees suffered their 3rd blanking of the year.

Vees Leading Scorers:

Jay O’Brien (15-32-47)

Danny Weight (15-23-38)

Lukas Sillinger (12-23-35)

David Silye (11-22-33)

Colton Kalezic (11-15-26)

The Vees return home Saturday night for the beginning of a three-game home stand to wrap up their pre-Christmas portion of the BCHL schedule. The South Okanagan Events Centre has been a strong place for Penticton over the last two weekends, outscoring their opponents by a 10-1 margin in their last two games on home ice and having won four of their past six matchups at the SOEC.

Penticton will turn to Yaniv Perets in the crease tonight as he has been consistently steady in between the pipes throughout the course of the season. The Quinnipiac University commit has won three of his last four starts while allowing a goal or less in each of those victories, including his league leading 4th shutout of the season. The Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec native ranks 4th in the league with a 2.13 goals against average and 7th in terms of save percentage at .917.

Goals have been at a premium in the season series between the Vees and Vipers with a total of 6 tallies between the two sides in the opening three games against each other. The scoring has happened early and late in games with nothing in between as the season series has featured three goals scored in the opening period while none have found the back of the net in the 2nd period and two being scored in the third as well as one in overtime.

The Vernon Vipers will look to make it six wins in a row after a 2-0 shutout victory against the Vees on Friday night at Kal Tire Place. Affiliate player Seiya Tanaka-Campbell and Trey Taylor scored the goals in the game while James Porter Jr. was the difference in the contest, posting a 42-save shutout for his 2nd win of the season in between the pipes.

Vipers Leading Scorers:
Matt Kowalski (19-18-37)

Connor Marritt (12-16-28)

Dawson Holt (12-12-24)

Cameron MacDonald (9-5-14)

Connor Sleeth (3-10-13)

The Vipers have won each of their last five games while each of them has come against Interior Division foes, outscoring their opposition by a 26-14 margin in that span. The winning streak of five games is the longest for the Vipers this season while they remain neck-and-neck with the Vees for one of the better defending teams in the league, surrendering just 88 goals against this season, good for a tie for 3rd in the league in that regard.

Matt Kowalski added two assists in the Vipers win on Friday night and paces his team in scoring while riding a 12-game point streak into action on Saturday night. The Vernon, BC native has tallied 12 goals while adding 8 assists for 20 points in that span while Kowalski has registered 8 goals in his last 6 games and sits 3rd in the BCHL in goals with his 19 and tied for 8th in league scoring with 37 points.

After a big 42-save performance on Friday night for his first career BCHL shutout, James Porter Jr. will likely get the night off on Saturday as Reilly Herbst will look to be in the crease for the home-and-home finale. The Niwot, Colorado native has been strong in the Vipers blue paint this season, boasting a 13-2 record along with a 2.33 GAA and a .920 SV% in 17 games played while also having won each of his last four starts. Herbst was a big part of the Vipers 2-1 overtime victory in Penticton in mid-October as he made 39 saves on 40 shots in the triumph.

The Vees and Vipers drop the puck on the fourth of their seven-game season series tonight at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Puck drop is slated for 6:00 PM with tickets available for purchase at the Valley First Box Office as well as online at ValleyFirstTix.com.