PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
PENTICTON, B.C. – Big nights offensively, including four points from Jay O’Brien, paced the Penticton Vees to a 9-1 victory over the West Kelowna Warriors on Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Vees started the game strong, jumping out to an early 7-1 shot advantage and getting ahead on the scoreboard as well courtesy of their second power play of the game coming just over six minutes into the hockey game.
Off the offensive zone face-off, Jay O’Brien swung a pass on the blue line to Steve Holtz on the left point as he walked down the left boards and sent a pass to the slot where the captain David Silye snapped a shot over the blocker side of Warriors goaltender Evan Fradette for his second goal of the preseason and the power play marker gave the Vees a 1-0 lead.
West Kelowna pressed with a power play of their own but Vees netminder Derek Krall stood tall, leading to stopping all 5 shots he faced in the opening frame but the period was mostly played in the Warriors end as the Vees threw 14 shots to Fradette’s net as the 18-year-old turned aside 13 of them in the opening 20 minutes.
The flood gates opened for the offence in the 2nd period for Penticton but not before the Warriors tied the game at the 4:22 mark courtesy of a shot from Levi Stauber on the power play that evened the score 1-1 before the Vees offence came roaring.
Danny Weight opened the five-goal 2nd period barrage, knocking in a Carson Kosobud shot from the right point that Fradette was able to stop but Weight would not be denied on the doorstep at the 6:33 mark of the period and his 1st preseason marker gave the Vees a 2-1 lead.
13 seconds later, O’Brien added a marker of his own, showing off his strong speed down the right wing as he beat a Warriors defender and cut to the net on a breakaway, deking from his forehand to his backhand to beat Fradette for his 2nd exhibition goal and Penticton jumped ahead 3-1 at the 6:47 mark.
A three-goal-in-47-seconds stretch came to an end with the tally of Alex DiPaolo, picking up his 3rd goal of the preseason at the 7:20 mark. DiPaolo tipped a Kosobud point shot that Fradette made the initial save on before the rebound popped up and behind him to give the Vees a 4-1 advantage.
David Silye added his second goal of the game, and a highlight reel marker, at the 14:16 point of the 2nd period to extend the lead to 5-1. Silye deked around two Warriors before getting to the slot and beating Fradette on the blocker side as the captain pushed their lead to four goals.
The five-goal 2nd period concluded on a Lukas Sillinger power play marker at the 18:10 mark of the middle stanza. Weight passed from the left face-off circle that came to the front of the net and was pushed in by Sillinger for his first goal of the preseason that staked the Vees to a 6-1 advantage after 40 minutes.
The Vees continued to add to their lead in the 3rd period as Liam Malmquist picked the pocket of the Warriors defender and walked in alone, snapping a shot over the glove side of Fradette for his first goal of the preseason and a 7-1 Vees advantage coming just 1:56 into the final frame.
Tristan Amonte finished off the scoring with a pair of goals, including a power play marker which extended the Vees lead to 8-1. Amonte chipped the puck from the top of the crease and past Fradette on the glove side, ending the Warriors netminder’s night at the 10:59 mark.
Amonte registered his second goal of the game with 38 seconds remaining, pushing home a rebound on the blocker side of new goaltender Jayden Shull and extending the lead to 9-1, the eventual final score.
Derek Krall and Yaniv Perets split time in the Vees net with Krall turning aside 7 of the 8 shots he faced in the first half of the game, picking up the win, before Perets stopped all 7 shots thrown his way.
The Vees continue their week on home ice as they welcome the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits to town for two exhibition games beginning on Friday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM at the South Okanagan Events Centre with tickets being sold for just $5. If you can’t make it to the rink, the game will be broadcasted on HockeyTV.com with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.
Season tickets are on sale now and the regular season just two weeks away with Penticton travelling to Trail to take on the Smoke Eaters on Friday, September 6th. 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.