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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Open Weekend Home-And-Home Set On Road Against Vipers

PHOTO: Lisa Mazurek/Lisa Mazurek Photography

The Penticton Vees (25-9-1-0) head to the North Okanagan for the first time this season to begin a weekend home-and-home set against an Interior Division rival in the Vernon Vipers (18-12-1-1) on Friday night at Kal Tire Place.

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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 (7:00 PM)

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)

Penticton has earned wins in four of their last five contests including a pair of triumphs in a weekend home-and-home set over the West Kelowna Warriors, concluding with a 3-2 victory on Saturday night at Royal LePage Place. Jackson Niedermayer found the back of the net twice in the game while Liam Malmquist scored the game-winning marker in the 3rd period while Carl Stankowski made 18 saves on 20 shots in his 5th win in between the pipes this season.

The Vees and Vipers have had a tight season series thus far with each team picking up a victory while Penticton has earned three of a possible four points in the two games this campaign. The last meeting between the two sides came in mid-October with Vernon collecting a 2-1 overtime victory. Former Vee Alex DiPaolo tallied the only goal in the game for the Vees while Yaniv Perets turned aside 25 of the 27 shots he faced in the lone overtime defeat for Penticton this season.

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)

Coming into Friday night’s game with a four-game goal scoring streak, Vees forward Jackson Niedermayer has been filling the net over the past handful of contests. The Arizona State University commit became the 6th Vee to tally double digit markers on the season, posting his 9th and 10th goals of the year in Saturday night’s 3-2 win. The Penticton, BC native is riding a five-game point streak where he has amassed five goals and an assist for six points over that stretch.

Another Vee who enjoyed success against the Warriors comes in the way of Danny Weight as the Boston College commit collected four assists in the two games over the weekend. The Lattingtown, New York native registered an assist on each of the Vees markers on Saturday, earning his 9th multi-point game of the season and 5th contest in which he has tallied three or more points.

The Vees make their final first-trip to an opposing building this season as they make the trek to Kal Tire Place for the first time all year. Penticton was on the right side of the score in two of the three matchups in enemy territory last season, including finishing off the season series with a triumphant 8-2 victory in Vernon. Through the last two seasons, the Vees have earned points in four of their last six games at Kal Tire Place.

The Vernon Vipers enter Friday night’s game after picking up three wins over a three-game weekend, concluding with an 8-7 shootout win against the Merritt Centennials on Sunday afternoon at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Connor Marritt tallied a hat-trick in the contest with Matt Kowalski scoring a pair of goals while Dawson Holt and Hunter Donohue added singles in the win. Kowalski and Connor Sleeth scored in the shootout with Reilly Herbst turning aside 41 of the 48 shots he faced in the game in his 13th win of the season and stopped three of the four shooters he saw in the shootout.

Vipers Leading Scorers:
Matt Kowalski (19-16-35)

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 four games with each of them coming against Interior Division foes, outscoring their opposition by a 24-14 margin. During that four-game winning streak, the Vipers power play has operated at a 37% rate, going 7-for-19 over that span. Vernon scored 22 goals in three victories over the course of their three-game weekend, accounting for 24% of their overall scoring in the season.

Matt Kowalski has surged for the Vipers in recent weeks as the reigning Player of the Week in the BC Hockey League enters Friday’s game carrying an 11-game point streak. The Vernon, BC native has tallied 12 goals while adding 6 assists for 18 points in that span including a three-game weekend which featured 6 goals and 3 assists for 9 points. Kowalski has registered 8 goals in his last 5 games and sits 3rd in the BCHL in goals with his 19 and tied for 10th in league scoring with 35 points.

With 24 points in 21 games, Dawson Holt has quickly rose near the top of Vipers scorers and carries a five-game point streak into the weekend against the Vees. The Saskatoon, SK native has scored in each of his last five contests, contributing 6 goals and 4 assists for 10 points in that five-game span. Holt has earned points in eight of his last nine games and posted his third shorthanded goal of the season in Sunday afternoon’s win.

The Vees and Vipers drop the puck on the fourth of their seven-game season series on Friday night at 7:00 PM from Kal Tire Place. The game will be broadcasted live on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as HockeyTV.com beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.