PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
PENTICTON, B.C. – The Penticton Vees used a four-goal 1st period and 23 saves from Yaniv Perets to collect their seventh win in a row, earning a 7-1 victory over the Vernon Vipers on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
After just over a week off, the Vees came out of the gate flying and jumped ahead by a 1-0 score under two minutes into the hockey game at the 1:54 mark as Lukas Sillinger got the scoring going. The Vees forward moved into the right face-off circle and snapped a shot over the glove side of Vipers goaltender Reilly Herbst for his 17th goal of the season and an early 1-0 advantage.
Penticton continued to pour on the pressure, taking a 2-0 lead at the 4:24 mark of the opening frame on a Vipers turnover. Liam Malmquist intercepted a pass inside the blue line and cut to the slot before sending a pass into the right face-off circle where Danny Weight snapped a shot over the glove side of Herbst for his team-leading 23rd tally of the season and a two-goal lead.
49 seconds after that, Tyler Ho extended the Vees lead to 3-0 and chased Herbst out of the Vipers net. Ho made his way down the right wing where he snapped a shot from the top of the right face-off circle as he beat the glove side of Herbst for his 12th goal of the season and ending the Vipers goaltender’s night at the 5:13 mark of the opening period and pushed the Vees ahead by a 3-0 score.
Colton Kalezic finished off a scoring stretch of four goals in the opening ten minutes of play, completing an odd-man rush with Ho. Kalezic took a pass in the slot from the left face-off circle off the stick of Ho as he went from his forehand to his backhand and past new Vipers goaltender Keegan Karki on the blocker side for his 12th tally of the season and a 4-0 Vees lead.
The home side started the 2nd period the same way they did in the opening frame, with more scoring. Just 1:39 into the period, Ethan Martini found the back of net for the first time this season to push the Vees ahead by a 5-0 margin. David Silye made a toe-drag move around a defender and fed Martini in the left face-off circle as the Vees rearguard moved to the net and beat Karki on the blocker side for his 1st goal of the season and a five-goal Vees lead.
Sillinger found the back of the net for the second time in the game, collecting his 18th goal of the season at the 11:34 mark with a terrific individual effort. The Vees forward corralled the puck on the left wing, making a move to get around a Vernon defender and slipped by for a shot from the bottom of the right face-off circle overtop of the glove shoulder of Karki to push the Vees lead to 6-0.
Malmquist closed out the scoring in the game for Penticton, coming 1:20 later at the 12:54 mark as he fired a shot from the high slot through traffic and through the legs of Karki for his 16th goal of the season and a 7-0 Penticton advantage.
Vernon broke the shutout bid under a minute later at the 13:41 mark as Matt Kowalski took a pass off the stick of Logan Cash from below the goal line and beat Vees goaltender Yaniv Perets over the glove shoulder in the top corner of the net to make it a 7-1 game.
Perets made a pair of big saves in the 3rd period, denying Hunter Donohoe with the glove and stopping a partial break from Keigo Hachisuka to conclude the game with 23 saves on 24 shots in his 22nd victory of the season in the Vees net.
Reilly Herbst started the game, allowing three goals in the opening 5:13 of play, taking his 6th loss of the season before being relieved by Keegan Karki, who played 34:47 and made 12 saves on 16 shots. Herbst returned to the net in the 3rd period, stopping 14 of the 17 shots thrown his way overall on the night.
FINAL SCORE: 7-1 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 33-24 Vees
VEES PP: 0/1
VEES PK: 1/1
1) Tyler Ho (1-1-2)
2) Colton Kalezic (1-1-2)
3) Ethan Martini (1-0-1)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Conner Hutchison (0-2-2)
The Vees (38-11-1-1) continue on their regular season-ending home stand with their final Wicked Wednesday of the season, presented by Boston Pizza, as they host the Surrey Eagles (22-21-3-4). Puck drop at the South Okanagan Events Centre is slated for 6:30 PM with tickets available for just $5.00 and available for purchase at the Valley First Box Office or online at ValleyFirstTix.com.