PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
WENATCHEE, WA. – The Penticton Vees used a 3rd period goal from Josh Nadeau to help them to their 42nd win of the season and 20th win on the road in a 4-3 victory over the Wenatchee Wild on Wednesday night at Town Toyota Center.
Only one goal was tallied in the opening period of the game as the Wild jumped ahead and got out to a 1-0 lead at the 8:18 mark of the 1st period with Garrett Szydlowski finding the back of the net shorthanded to give Wenatchee the advantage in the opening frame.
A giveaway inside of the Vees defensive end while on the power play allowed for Cade Stibbe to center a pass to the slot where Szydlowski found room through the legs of Vees goaltender Kaeden Lane from the top of the crease on a partial break to give the Wild the game’s opening goal.
The Vees lead the Wild in shots by a 10-7 margin after one period and Penticton would work their way back to a tie game in the middle stanza, one of their three goals in the 2nd frame as the power play struck to even the score.
Braden Doyle shuffled a pass from the top of the right circle to the left wing where Bradly Nadeau let a one-time shot go from the top of the circle and sent it past the glove side of Wild goaltender Tyler Shea for his 18th goal of the season and the Vees were able to knot the score at 1-1 at the 3:21 mark of the middle frame.
Penticton took their first lead of the game at the 13:35 mark of the 2nd period as Luc Wilson notched his 28th goal of the season to put the Vees up by a 2-1 score. A Wild turnover in their defensive zone allowing Spencer Smith to steal the puck and move in on a partial break, sending a shot off the blocker of Shea before Wilson followed up with a backhand try over the glove shoulder of the Wenatchee goaltender to give the Vees a one-goal edge.
Wenatchee came back later in the period and got things on level terms once again at the 17:17 mark of the 2nd period with the first of two goals in 35 seconds. Landon Parker made his way out from below the goal line and walked to the right face-off circle before zipping a shot over the glove side shoulder of Lane to get the game back to a tie at 2-2.
Moments later, the Wild were able to earn their second lead of the game on a scramble at the side of the net that saw the puck slide through the crease and eventually find the stick of Ean Somoza, who collected the marker to push Wenatchee ahead by a goal and give the Wild a 3-2 edge at the 17:52 mark.
Just before the period came to an end, the Vees earned a power play opportunity and converted for the second time in the game as Casey McDonald pushed the Vees back into a tie, this time at 3-3. Grayson Arnott sent a pass to the goal line as McDonald gathered on his forehand before turning to the net and lifting a shot over the glove shoulder of Shea for his 19th goal of the season and get the game all square with 35 seconds remaining in the period to head into the final frame.
Both teams had good looks on goal before the Vees pushed for their second lead of the game as Josh Nadeau added to his strong season of highlight reel markers with another gorgeous tally to put the Vees out front, for good, in the game.
The Vees forward picked the puck up in the neutral zone and raced his way into the offensive end, getting around one defender by making a move to the inside from the right wing and moving the puck to his backhand before lifting a shot over the glove side of Shea for his 38th goal of the season and a 4-3 Vees advantage at the 10:58 mark of the 3rd period.
The Vees went to the penalty kill late while Wenatchee pulled the goaltender Shea but Penticton stood tall on the kill as they did all night, going 6-for-6 while down a skater and were able to hold off the Wild for a 4-3 victory.
Kaeden Lane started the game for the Vees, collecting his 28th win of the season while making 24 saves on 27 shots with Tyler Shea turning aside 33 of the 37 shots thrown his way in his 15th loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 37-24 Vees
VEES PP: 2/5
VEES PK: 6/6
1) Bradly Nadeau (1-1-2)
2) Anthony Cafarelli (0-1-1)
3) Kaeden Lane (24 saves on 27 shots)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Hunter Hastings (0-1-1)
The final weekend of the regular season features a pair of home games for the Vees (42-8-0-2) beginning on Friday night against the West Kelowna Warriors (35-16-1-0) on Valley First Feed The Valley Night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM before the Vees host the Merritt Centennials on their annual Awards Night on Sunday at 4:00 PM. Fans are encouraged to remain in their seats after the game for the handing out of the annual awards.