PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
The Penticton Vees open up a two-game swing on Vancouver Island with a first-round playoff rematch against the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday night at the Cowichan Community Centre.
REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE VS. COWICHAN VALLEY
Saturday, September 21st @ Cowichan Community Centre (6:00 PM)
Saturday, December 21st @ South Okanagan Events Centre (6:00 PM)
The Vees enter the weekend after another successful set of games a week ago on the road, earning a 7-3 victory over the Merritt Centennials on Friday night before picking up a 4-3 triumph in overtime on Saturday night against the Prince George Spruce Kings. Shorthanded goals from Colton Kalezic and Jack Barnes gave the Vees the lead in the 2nd period before Danny Weight broke a 3rd period tie. Jay O’Brien collected the game winning goal in overtime to help the Vees to their fourth straight win. Derek Krall turned aside 30 of the 33 shots he faced in his 2nd win of the season.
Penticton and Cowichan Valley met a total of eight times last season as the two squared off in the opening round of the BCHL playoffs. The Vees picked up a pair of regular season victories against the Capitals, earning 4-2 and 4-1 wins each on the road and at home before the Caps eliminated the Vees from the postseason in a six-game series win.
Vees Leading Scorers:
Danny Weight (4-4-8)
Jay O’Brien (3-4-7)
Liam Malmquist (2-4-6)
David Silye (1-5-6)
Evan McIntyre (1-3-4)
Danny Weight has continued on his strong start to open the BCHL season and comes into Saturday night riding a three-game point streak, which has seen him amass 8 points in that span. The Boston College commit has scored in each of those three games as well and sits in 2nd in the league when it comes to goal scoring with 4 markers on the year. The Lattingtown, New York native also sits in 2nd in the BCHL in points per game behind Powell River’s Levi Glasman as Weight has averaged two points per game this season.
The Vees come into the game with one of the most balanced attacks of offence in the BCHL as 20 of the 22 players on the roster have found a way to get a point. 15 different goal scorers have combined to tally the 22 goals Penticton has scored this season as well as 6 of those markers coming on the power play.
Penticton looks to keep their successful power play clipping along to begin the season, sitting 5th in the BCHL and operating at a 26.1% rate. The Vees have scored on the power play in two of their four games to begin the season with both of those contests featuring three goals from the man advantage, going 6-for-23 on the young season.
The Cowichan Valley Capitals come into Saturday night’s affair having won their last two games including a 3-2 victory over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Friday night at the Cowichan Community Centre. Josh Kagan, Olivier Gauthier and Cole Broadhurst each scored in the game for the Caps while Zach Borgiel turned aside 23 of the 25 shots he faced in his 5th win of the season.
Capitals Scoring Leaders:
Olivier Gauthier (4-4-8)
Josh Kagan (4-3-7)
Tyrell Boucher (0-7-7)
Luc Wilson (3-3-6)
Brady Lynn (3-2-5)
The Capitals return seven players from the team that advanced to Game #6 of the Interior Division semifinals a season ago. Captain Cruz Cote is joined by forwards Kolton Cousins, Olivier Gauthier, Dan McIntyre, Brady Lynn and Cole Broadhurst while defender Dimitri Mikrogiannakis is also back on the blue line. A pair of new goaltenders man the crease for the Capitals this season in the way of Zach Borgiel and Ben Howard.
Cowichan Valley is off to a 5-1-0-0 start to the season which marks their best opening to a season in at least 15 years. Olivier Gauthier paces the Capitals offence with four goals and eight points, including points in each of his last five games. The Ferme-Neuve, Quebec native has scored in two of his last three games and is tied for third in the league in scoring with his eight points.
It’s been an especially strong start to the season for Cowichan Valley’s new goaltender as Zach Borgiel has been terrific to open the year. The Fort Gratiot, Michigan native has compiled a 1.62 goals against average and a .945 save percentage, which has him ranked third in the league in each of those categories, over a span of five straight victories, including a 23-save performance on Friday night.
The Vees and Capitals play the first of their two-game regular season set on Saturday night at the Cowichan Community Centre for a 6:00 PM puck drop. The game will be broadcasted live on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as HockeyTV.com with the pre-game show beginning at 5:40 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.