PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
PENTICTON, BC. – The Penticton Vees used a four-goal 2nd period and two markers from Spencer Smith to complete the preseason a perfect 5-0-0-0 in a 5-2 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The first period on Saturday night was one that struggled to find flow as both teams fought the puck and not many offensive chances were created. Penticton opened the game with a power play but could not capitalize, which was the same as Salmon Arm as both teams went 0-for-1 on the man advantage in the 1st period that saw the Silverbacks outshoot the Vees by an 8-7 margin but the score remained 0-0 into the 2nd period.
That’s where the Vees broke out for four goals of their own to take command of the hockey game and it came early as just 28 seconds into the middle stanza, captain Fin Williams put his team ahead by a 1-0 score.
A bouncing puck from a blue line shot of Luke Vardy was knocked down at the front of the net by Luc Wilson who controlled in the left face-off circle and slid a pass to the middle where Williams pushed past an out of position Silverbacks goaltender in Liam Vanderkooi for his 3rd goal of the preseason and a 1-0 lead.
The scoring continued later in the period after a four-minute, double-minor penalty kill that gave the Vees momentum to increase their lead and it came courtesy of Spencer Smith, who put his team ahead by a 2-0 margin. Josh Nadeau took a Frank Djurasevic pass on the right wing and moved to the right face-off circle where he shot on the blocker side of Vanderkooi, who stopped the shot but not enough as it leaked through his blocker side and Smith banged home the loose change to give the Vees a 2-0 lead at the 6:49 mark of the 2nd period.
After ripping a shot off the post just moments before, Bradley Nadeau got his revenge in collecting his 2nd goal of the preseason at the 10:09 mark of the middle stanza. Brett Moravec’s neutral zone pass was right on the tape for Nadeau at the offensive blue line as he snuck behind the defense and sent a shot to the blocker side of Vanderkooi that snuck through his right side and across the goal line for the three-goal Vees advantage.
Casey McDonald concluded the Vees scoring in the 2nd period with their fourth goal of the frame at the 15:37 mark and was McDonald’s 3rd in the last two games. A scramble at the front of the net saw the puck drift to the blocker side of Vanderkooi as McDonald whacked it through the legs of the Silverbacks netminder to push Penticton ahead by a 4-0 score and complete a lopsided 2nd period in favour of the home side.
Danny Ciccarello got the Silverbacks on the scoreboard 1:43 into the 3rd period as he moved into the left face-off circle and let a shot go underneath the glove of Vees goaltender Colin Purcell to get Salmon Arm on the board and cut the Vees lead to 4-1.
A shorthanded goal, in the second straight game, for the Vees and Spencer Smith pushed the lead to 5-1. Smith took a pass from Beanie Richter in the neutral zone as he came down the right wing and zipped a shot over the glove shoulder of Vanderkooi for his second goal of the game at the 12:22 mark to regain the four-goal advantage.
Just 17 seconds later, Nathan Morin scored on the same power play for the Silverbacks that got Salmon Arm within three goals. Morin gathered the puck after a scramble in front of the net and beat Purcell over the left shoulder from the bottom of the right face-off circle to make it a 5-2 score, which ended as the final score at the 12:39 mark of the 3rd period.
Colin Purcell earned his second win of the preseason making 29 saves on 31 shots in the Vees crease while Liam Vanderkooi turned aside 32 saves on 37 shots in his second loss of the exhibition season.
FINAL SCORE: 5-2 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 37-31 Vees
1) Bradley Nadeau (1-0-1)
2) Spencer Smith (2-0-2)
3) Fin Williams (1-1-2)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Luc Wilson (0-2-2)
The Vees open up the regular season with their home opener on Friday, October 8th as they host the Vernon Vipers at the SOEC. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with the Vees honouring the 1985/86 Penticton Knights with a pre-game ceremony and puck drop while also donning special Knights jerseys for the occasion. Tickets are available for purchase at the SOEC Box Office as well as online at valleyfirsttix.com.