WENATCHEE, WA. – The Penticton Vees got a late power play goal from Jay O’Brien as well as three point nights from Liam Malmquist and Danny Weight to help them to a 5-3 victory over the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday night at the Town Toyota Center.
It was a strong start to the game for Yaniv Perets in the Vees crease as Wenatchee jumped out to an opening shot advantage of 6-0 before Penticton used that momentum to charge back and, on their first shot of the game, opened the scoring at the 5:55 mark of the 1st period.
Jackson Niedermayer led the rush up ice for the Vees, getting into the offensive zone before sending a pass to the middle of the ice as Danny Weight quickly took the puck and shoveled to the right side with Liam Malmquist dancing around a Wild defender in the right face-off circle before snapping a shot over the blocker side of Wild netminder Noah Altman for his 7th goal of the season and a 1-0 Vees advantage.
A power play doubled the Vees lead later in the 1st period with Weight finishing off a nice feed on the goal line. Colton Kalezic took a Jay O’Brien pass from the left-wing and collected on the goal line at the blocker side of Altman before sending a pass to the glove side as Weight slapped in his 10th goal of the season to give the Vees a 2-0 lead while on the man advantage.
The 2nd period saw the Wild get back in the hockey game with a goal at the 6:58 mark of the middle stanza that scratched a lot of heads for the Vees. Tyler Young went hard to the goal on the right wing, knocking down Perets with the puck sliding to the middle of the ice as Nick Cafarelli potted into the open goal as Perets could not slide to get in front of the shot. The goal stood and cut the deficit in half as the Vees lead was 2-1.
Wenatchee came back and tied the game just 1:02 later with Quinn Emerson evening the score. Emerson raced into the offensive zone and took a shot from the slot that was stopped by Perets with the Wild forward converting on his own rebound to tie the game at 2-2 at the 8:00 mark of the 2nd period.
The Vees got back to pressuring the Wild and took their lead back at the 13:01 mark of the middle stanza as Niedermayer made a terrific play to get around a Wild defender at the top of the point and bring the puck to the right side. The Vees forward made his way to the front of the goal before beating Altman through the legs for his 5th goal of the season and a 3-2 Vees advantage.
The lead would not last long as right off the ensuing face-off, a high-sticking penalty put the Vees shorthanded and the Wild were quick to counter to tie the game. A quick passing play in the offensive zone saw Cafarelli spot Brian Adams in the slot as he snapped a one-time shot past the glove side of Perets to tie the game at 3-3 at the 13:13 mark, just 12 seconds after the Vees took a one-goal lead.
Both teams came out with a punch in the 3rd period, looking to try and take the lead with a too many men penalty against the Wild giving the Vees a power play with just over 6 minutes remaining in the final frame and the Vees capitalized.
Steve Holtz played a midpoint pass for O’Brien in the left-wing face-off circle as he corralled the puck in the circle and sniped a shot over the blocker side shoulder of Altman with traffic in front for his 14th goal of the season to give the Vees a 4-3 lead at the 15:03 mark of the final period.
Wenatchee pulled their goaltender with just over a minute left in the contest as David Silye poked the puck away from the Wild defender at the midpoint and banked a pass off the right-wing boards as he skated onto the puck and found the back of the net for his 6th goal of the season to ice a 5-3 Vees victory with 26 seconds remaining.
Yaniv Perets turned aside 29 of the 32 shots he faced in his 10th victory of the season in between the pipes while Noah Altman turned away 21 of the 25 shots thrown his way in his 6th loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 5-3 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 32-26 Wild
VEES PP: 2/4
VEES PK: 2/4
1) Liam Malmquist (1-2-3)
2) Jackson Niedermayer (1-1-2)
3) Nick Cafarelli (1-1-2)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Tyler Young (0-2-2)
The Vees (18-4-1-0) conclude a three-game stint away from home with a big Interior Division matchup against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (17-5-1-0) on Wednesday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM from the Shaw Centre with the game available for broadcast on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as HockeyTV.com beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.