PHOTO: Damon James/BCHL
WENATCHEE, WA. – The Penticton Vees used a pair of Jay O’Brien 2nd period goals to help them score four unanswered tallies in a 4-1 victory over the Wenatchee Wild on Friday night at the Town Toyota Center.
Both teams didn’t give up much in the opening part of the first period with only 4 shots for each side registered at the media timeout before the Wild pushed through for the game’s opening goal coming at the 11:17 mark.
Brett Chorske centered a pass from the left wing that Wild captain Brian Adams got a shot on from the slot that was stopped by the right pad of Vees netminder Carl Stankowski with the rebound coming to the bottom of the right face-off circle as Matt Dorsey was there with a shot that beat the glove side of Stankowski to open the scoring and give the Wild a 1-0 lead.
The Vees pushed back and got the game on even terms late in the period at the 17:29 mark of the opening period with Jackson Niedermayer finishing off a nice passing play. Niedermayer gathered the puck in the neutral zone after a pass from Liam Malmquist and fed Conner Hutchison on the left wing with a rush up ice before Hutchison sent a pass to Niedermayer in the right face-off circle as he backhanded the puck past the glove side of Wenatchee goaltender Noah Altman for his 4th goal of the season and a 1-1 tie.
Penticton dominated the 2nd period of play, outshooting the Wild by a 13-3 margin and took their first lead of the game at the 10:46 mark of the middle stanza as Jay O’Brien scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season. Danny Weight got the puck to the slot as he tied up with a Wild defender at the top of the crease with O’Brien coming in and taking the puck to his backhand and beating Altman on the blocker side to give Penticton a 2-1 advantage.
It was O’Brien again that would increase the Vees lead to 3-1 at the 14:34 mark of the 2nd frame with a highlight reel marker. O’Brien spun a backhand, no-look pass from the slot to David Silye in the left-wing circle before he sent a pass back to the right side for O’Brien as he beat Altman on the glove side with his second of the game and gave the Vees a 3-1 lead late in the 2nd period.
It didn’t take long for the Vees to add to their lead in the 3rd period, taking a 4-1 advantage just 20 seconds into the final frame. O’Brien made a strong play to hold the puck in at the mid-point and passed to the right face-off circle where Lukas Sillinger walked in and shot through the legs of Altman for his 9th goal of the season and a three-goal Vees lead.
The 3rd period was played solidly in the defensive zone for the Vees, surrendering just 6 shots with Carl Stankowski turning aside 20 of the 21 shots he faced in his 3rd victory of the season while Noah Altman stopped 27 of the 31 shots thrown his way in his 5th loss of the year.
FINAL SCORE: 4-1 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 31-21 Vees
VEES PP: 0/1
VEES PK: 3/3
1) Jay O’Brien (2-0-2)
2) Danny Weight (0-2-2)
3) Lukas Sillinger (1-1-2)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Carl Stankowski (20 saves on 21 shots)
The Vees (17-4-1-0) remain on the road for the second half of their weekend doubleheader south of the border against the Wenatchee Wild (11-9-1-1) on Saturday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 PM from the Town Toyota Center 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.