PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
PENTICTON, BC. – The Penticton Vees used a four-goal 1st period to help them to a weekend sweep of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the opening two games of the Okanagan Cup as they earned an 8-2 win on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Penticton picked up right where they left off from Friday night, beginning the game with a flurry of chances and garnered the game’s opening power play where Luc Wilson would take advantage and give his side a 1-0 lead. Wilson took a shot from the right face-off circle at the tail end of the power play that found its way through the legs of Silverbacks goaltender Riley Kohonick for his 1st goal of the Okanagan Cup that helped the Vees to a 1-0 lead at the 3:36 mark of the opening frame.
Just under two minutes later, Quinn Hutson buried his team leading 3rd goal of the tournament that gave the home side a 2-0 lead. Matteo Costantini drove the net wide and centered a pass from below the left face-off circle where Hutson batted the puck in at the 5:22 mark of the 1st period to give Penticton a two-goal advantage.
The scoring picked up in a furious manner as the period drew later and it was the Vees who would jump ahead by a three-goal margin at the 14:19 mark of the opening period with Ryan Upson tallying his 1st Okanagan Cup goal. Jackson Niedermayer had his shot stopped by the glove side of Kohonick with the rebound falling to his left as Upson slid a backhanded puck past the goal line to give the Vees a 3-0 lead.
The three-goal lead did not last long for the Vees as Salmon Arm scored their first goal of the Okanagan Cup and it came off of strange play deep inside the Penticton end. Daniel Panetta poked the puck off a Vees defender as it trickled off the inside of the left pad of Vees goaltender Kaeden Lane and over the goal line at the 14:45 mark to give the Silverbacks life.
Just over a minute later, Penticton regained the three-goal lead once more as Devlin O’Brien buried a rebound for the Vees fourth goal of the opening stanza. Beanie Richter had his shot from the left face-off circle stopped by Kohonick with O’Brien on the doorstep to beat the veteran netminder past the glove side and end his night at the 15:46 mark of the period as Liam Vanderkooi would come on for Salmon Arm in net with the Vees leading by a 4-1 score.
The six-goal opening period was concluded with a goal from Simon Tassy to get the Silverbacks back within a pair of goals. Noah Serdachny centered a pass from below the goal line that found Tassy in the slot, who buried a shot over the glove shoulder of Lane at the 17:45 mark to cap off a high scoring 1st period of action.
Jackson Niedermayer restored the three-goal advantage for the Vees once again with his 2nd Okanagan Cup goal at the 7:42 mark of the 2nd period on a terrific pass from the left corner by Ben Wozney. The defender fed Niedermayer at the top of the left face-off circle as he snapped a one-time shot past the glove of Vanderkooi for a 5-2 advantage.
The period did not feature the same amount of scoring as the opening 20 minutes but Luc Wilson gave his team a four-goal lead at the 15:03 mark of the middle frame with his second goal of the contest. Wilson streamed down the left wing and wristed a shot from the edge of the left face-off circle that beat Vanderkooi under his glove hand to extend the lead to 6-2.
Jack Bar buried his first Okanagan Cup goal early in the 3rd period at the 1:30 mark on a nice passing play that saw Bar beat Vanderkooi through the legs. Wozney centered a pass from the left face-off circle as Bar was all alone in the slot before going five-hole on the Silverbacks 17-year-old netminder to give the Vees a 7-2 advantage.
Just under three minutes later, Quinn Hutson scored his second goal of the night and his 4th goal of the weekend at the 4:15 mark of the final frame with Hutson taking a Costantini pass and moving down the right wing before getting a shot through Vanderkooi and giving Penticton an 8-2 lead, which would turn out to be the eventual final score.
Kaeden Lane settled in for his 1st win of the Okanagan Cup in making 20 saves on 22 shots in his first start while Riley Kohonick started the game for the Silverbacks, taking his 2nd loss of the Okanagan Cup with 12 saves on 16 shots before Liam Vanderkooi turned aside 17 of the 21 shots thrown his way in relief.
FINAL SCORE: 8-2 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 37-22 Vees
VEES PP: 1/1
VEES PK: 4/4
The Vees (2-0-0-0) will make their first trip on the road in the Okanagan Cup as they head to the Central Okanagan to battle the West Kelowna Warriors (2-0-0-0) on Friday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM from Royal LePage Place with the game being available with a FREE audio stream at mixlr.com/pentictonvees as well as pay-per-view on HockeyTV.com.