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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Make Trek North To Face Off Against Spruce Kings

PHOTO: Jack Murray

The Penticton Vees continue their weekend on the road as they make their lone trip to Northern British Columbia to take on the Prince George Spruce Kings on Saturday night at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.




Saturday, September 14th @ Rolling Mix Concrete Arena (7:00 PM)

Wednesday, November 27th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:30 PM)

Penticton earned their third straight victory to begin the season, picking up a 7-3 win against the Merritt Centennials on Friday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Danny Weight scored a pair of goals in the game for the Vees while Alex DiPaolo, Tristan Amonte, Cade Webber and Colton Kalezic added singles in the win for the Vees. Yaniv Perets turned aside 26 of the 29 shots thrown his way in his 2nd win of the season.

The Vees and Spruce Kings played three times last season including a matchup at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack. Each of the games were decided by 3-2 scores with Prince George winning the season series with two victories in three games. A 3-2 win at the Showcase was followed by an overtime win in Prince George at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena before the Vees earned a shootout victory on home ice at the South Okanagan Events Centre to complete the season set.

Vees Leading Scorers:

Danny Weight (3-4-7)

Jay O’Brien (2-4-6)

Liam Malmquist (2-3-5)

David Silye (1-4-5)

Evan McIntyre (1-3-4)

The Vees offence has struck consistently over the first three games and has scored the most goals in the BC Hockey League coming into Saturday night in Prince George. Penticton has tallied 18 goals thus far, averaging 6 goals per game while also holding the league’s best goal differential at +13 in the young season.

Helping that league lead in goals is the power play, which has struck for 6 of those 18 markers on the season. Penticton leads the BCHL in goals scored on the man advantage, sitting at 31.6% by going 6/19 on the year after back-to-back games with three power play goals. Penticton’s penalty kill has also been a big key to success, going 12-for-13 on the season, operating at a 92.3% clip through three games.

The good week kept on giving for Vees defender Evan McIntyre, who committed to Ohio State University during the middle of the week and collected a three-assist night on Friday in Merritt. The Oakville, Ontario native sits 2nd in BCHL scoring from the blue line with a goal and three assists, sitting behind Coquitlam’s Nicholas Carabin for the league lead.

The Prince George Spruce Kings come into Saturday night after registering their first win of the season with a 6-1 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies on Friday night at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena. Corey Cunningham netted a pair of goals while Evan Orr, Andrew Seaman, Ryan McAllister and Chong Min Lee added singles in the win. Jett Alexander stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced for his first victory of the season and his BCHL career.

Spruce Kings Scoring Leaders:

Corey Cunningham (2-2-4)

Finlay Williams (2-2-4)

Nicholas Poisson (0-4-4)

Chong Min Lee (2-1-3)

Ryan McAllister (1-2-3)

The Spruce Kings come into the season as defending BCHL Fred Page Cup champions, winning the Doyle Cup and falling just short in the National Junior ‘A’ Final last season. Vees alumni Alex Evin has taken over the reigns as Head Coach while Prince George returns 5 players from last year’s team including Corey Cunningham, Nicholas Poisson, Chong Min Lee, Nolan Welsh and defenseman Nick Bochen.

It’s been a good start to the season for youngster Finn Williams, who has registered a point in each of his team’s first three games. The University of Michigan commit scored twice in Prince George’s opening game last Friday against the Surrey Eagles before tallying an assist in each of his last two games. The North Vancouver, BC product may only be 16 but has plenty of experience and was a regular with the Spruce Kings during their run to the National Junior ‘A’ Championship Final last season.

It’s likely the Vees will see big 6’5”, 195-pound netminder Jett Alexander between the pipes for the Spruce Kings after earning his first win of the season on Friday night over Victoria. The Bloomfield, Ontario native tore up the Ontario Junior Hockey League with the North York Rangers, compiling a 1.67 GAA and a .945 SV% in 45 games a season ago and will be logging a lot of minutes in Prince George this season. The 20-year-old crease keeper has also represented Canada on the international stage, playing with Team Canada East at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in 2017.

The Vees and Spruce Kings play the first of their two-game season set tonight at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena with a 7:00 PM puck drop. Catch the game on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as with the pre-game show beginning at 6:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.

The Vees home opener is slated for Friday, September 27th against the West Kelowna Warriors. Contact Director of Ticketing & Merchandise Laura Carleton for more information on season tickets and watching the Vees live this season.