PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
The Penticton Vees (1-0-0-0) look to make it back-to-back wins to open the season as they host the Wenatchee Wild (0-0-0-0) for the first time since February 2020 on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE vs. WENATCHEE
Saturday, October 9th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:00 PM)
Saturday, December 4th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:00 PM)
Thursday, January 27th @ Town Toyota Center (6:00 PM)
Friday, January 28th @ Town Toyota Center (7:05 PM)
Saturday, January 29th @ Town Toyota Center (6:00 PM)
The Vees are aiming to push their record to 2-0-0-0 and finish the opening weekend off on a strong note after earning a 4-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers on Friday night at the SOEC. Josh Niedermayer tallied a pair of goals while Fin Williams and Casey McDonald found the back of the net as well in the victory. Kaeden Lane collected his 1st win of the season in making 12 saves on 14 shots in between the pipes for Penticton.
Penticton and Wenatchee will play for the first time since the 2019/2020 season after the Vees took the last season series between the two sides by winning 6 of the 7 games against each other, including a pair of back-to-back games at the end of the regular season leading into the playoffs.
Vees Leading Scorers:
Josh Niedermayer (2-0-2)
Casey McDonald (1-1-2)
Fin Williams (1-1-2)
Frank Djurasevic (0-2-2)
Anthony Allepot (0-1-1)
A pair of goals on Friday night for Josh Niedermayer gave him his first career multi-goal game in the BC Hockey League. The Penticton, BC native tallied a goal in 18 games during last year’s Pod Season and sits at 3 goals and 13 points in 22 games over the course of his BCHL career. Niedermayer, along with Frank Djurasevic’s pair of helpers in the game, created four points of offence from the Vees blue line on Friday.
Casey McDonald had a good start to his Vees career on Friday night, tallying a goal and an assist in the Vees victory over the Vipers. The Plenty, Saskatchewan native came to Penticton after two seasons in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Fargo Force, registering 9 goals and 17 assists for 26 points during his 83-game tenure.
After a strong opening night in goal, the Vees will turn to Colin Purcell in the crease tonight against the Wild. The Shaker Heights, Ohio native came to the Vees after two seasons with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL and got into two games with the Vees during the exhibition season, owning a 2-0 record to go along with a 1.97 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.
The Wenatchee Wild come into the 2021/22 regular season after being idle during the 2020/21 campaign due to border restrictions that prevented them from travelling to Canada. The Wild earned a win and a loss in the exhibition season, defeating the Trail Smoke Eaters by a 5-4 score in a shootout while falling to the Cranbrook Bucks by a 5-1 margin to conclude their preseason schedule.
Wenatchee has a total of three players who have returned after playing during the 2019/20 season with the team, including forwards Hunter Hastings, Quinn Emerson and Owen Bohn, who played as an affiliate for the Wild in their last season and scored as an AP against the Vees at the SOEC.
The Vees and Wild play the first of their five-game season series on Saturday night with a 6:00 PM puck drop at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Limited tickets are still available for purchase online at valleyfirsttix.com as well as at the SOEC Box Office. The game will be broadcasted on Bounce 800 as well as streamed on HockeyTV.com beginning with the pre-game show at 5:40 PM.