PHOTO: Jack Murray
SALMON ARM, BC. – The Penticton Vees saw a back-and-forth battle against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks go their way as the Vees improved to 4-0-0-0 in the preseason in a 6-4 victory on Friday night at the Shaw Centre.
The opening period saw the ice tilted in the Vees favour, outshooting the Silverbacks by a 15-7 margin in the 1st period and got a late goal courtesy of Josh Nadeau to open the scoring in the final three minutes of the period.
Anthony Allepot sent a pass through the neutral zone to a streaking Nadeau on the right-wing side as he moved into the right face-off circle before throwing a puck at the net and through the Silverbacks goaltender Owen Say for his 1st goal of the preseason and a 1-0 Vees lead at the 17:10 mark of the opening frame.
Just 32 seconds after the opening marker, Brandon Santa Juana evened the score at the 17:42 mark to tie the game 1-1. Daniel Panetta fed a pass from the right wing to the left side for a streaking Santa Juana who beat Vees netminder Kaeden Lane at the 17:42 mark of the opening period to even the score heading into the 2nd frame.
It didn’t take long for the Silverbacks to grab their first lead of the game just 12 seconds into the middle stanza with Simon Tassy pushing Salmon Arm ahead. The ‘Backs forward had the puck slip away from his forehand before collecting on his backhand and sliding the puck off of the stick of a Vees defender in front to give the Silverbacks a 2-1 lead.
After a power play for the Silverbacks gave them a chance to extend the lead but instead it was the Vees who evened the score as Casey McDonald tallied shorthanded for his 1st preseason goal. McDonald moved in on a two-on-one rush with Jackson Nieuwendyk where he passed to the left side as Nieuwendyk fired a shot wide on the glove side of Say with the rebound finding the stick of McDonald on the blocker side off the end boards to even the score at the 8:35 mark of the 2nd period.
Salmon Arm jumped ahead once more at the 14:49 mark of the middle period courtesy of Tassy once again with his second goal of the game. Another odd man rush, this time for the Silverbacks, saw a pass from Noah Serdachny to Tassy on the right wing where he deposited the puck past the glove side of Lane to regain their lead at 3-2.
McDonald and the Vees had an answer to that right off of a face-off at the 15:31 mark, just 42 seconds after getting behind by a goal. Nieuwendyk won the face-off to his left from the right face-off circle as McDonald collected in the slot and buried a shot past the glove side of Say for his second goal of the period and tying the game at 3-3.
The 3rd period saw the Vees give up just two shots against but Tassy made one of two pay for his hat-trick goal coming at the 3:23 mark of the final frame as he drove through the middle and wide to the left-wing around a Vees defender before backhanding a shot past the blocker side of Lane to regain the one-goal advantage.
Penticton scored the next three goals in the final frame, beginning with Ethan Mann tallying just 22 seconds after Tassy’s 3rd of the game to once again pull the Vees evem. Luc Wilson had his shot from the left face-off circle knocked down as Mann came in from the right side and bunted the puck into the back of the goal for his 2nd of the preseason and a 4-4 tie at the 3:45 mark.
Exactly two minutes later, Thomas Pichette pushed the Vees ahead for the first time since the opening period with his 2nd goal of the preseason. Pichette found a puck in the slot and backhanded a shot through the body of Say at the 5:45 mark of the 3rd period to give the Vees the advantage at 5-4.
Nieuwendyk concluded the scoring with his third goal in the last two games as his power play marker added as insurance for the Vees at 6-4. Nieuwendyk gathered the puck off a pass from Mann in the left circle and snapped a shot past the glove side of Say for his 3rd marker of exhibition play to give Penticton a 6-4 victory.
The Vees held on for the two-goal win with Kaeden Lane turning aside 13 of the 17 shots thrown his way in his 3rd win of the preseason while Owen Say stopped 32 of the 38 shots he faced in his 1st loss of the preseason.
FINAL SCORE: 6-4 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 38-17 Vees
1) Simon Tassy (3-0-3)
2) Casey McDonald (2-1-3)
3) Jackson Nieuwendyk (1-2-3)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Isaac Lambert (0-0-0)
The Vees (4-0-0-0) will conclude their preseason action on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (3-2-0-0). Puck drop is slated for 6:00 PM with tickets available for just $10 through the SOEC Box Office as well as online at valleyfirsttix.com.
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.