PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
WEST KELOWNA, B.C. – The Penticton Vees used strong efforts from Matteo Costantini and Quinn Hutson to help them to their fourth consecutive Okanagan Cup victory in a 3-2 shootout win over the West Kelowna Warriors on Saturday night at Royal LePage Place.
Special teams played a big factor in Saturday night’s game after the two teams combined to go 0-for-12 on Friday but it was John Evans who tallied a power play marker at the 11:30 mark of the opening period to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead and was the first time the Vees trailed in the Okanagan Cup.
The Warriors possessed a 5-on-3 man advantage as Evans took a pass from Tyson Jugnauth at the bottom of the left face-off circle and beat Vees goaltender Yaniv Perets with a one-time shot past the glove to give West Kelowna a 1-0 lead in the opening period.
Just over four minutes later, it would be the Vees on a two-man advantage of their own as the hot hand of Quinn Hutson continued with his 5th goal of the Okanagan Cup to even the score at 1-1. Matteo Costantini fired a pass from the right-wing face-off circle to the glove side as Hutson one-timed a puck past Warriors goaltender Zach Bennett on the glove side to even the score at the 15:31 mark of the opening period.
Before the period came to a close, the Vees used another power play to continue the momentum and get their first lead of the game at the 17:05 mark of the 1st period as Costantini found the back of the net. Hutson had the puck in the slot and feathered a pass to the left-wing where Costantini fired a shot through Bennett for his 2nd goal of the Okanagan Cup and helped the Vees to a 2-1 lead into the 2nd period.
The middle stanza saw both teams create a fair number of chances but some offensive zone opportunities came through the middle part of the period and Evans buried his second of the game for the Warriors to push the game back to even. Elan Bar Lev Wise set up Evans in the slot as he lifted a shot over the glove side of Perets to even the score once again heading into the 3rd period.
Both teams put the clamp down in the 3rd period with each side throwing plenty of rubber on net, the Warriors pushed 13 shots on Perets, who was dialed in for a second straight night while Bennett turned aside each of the 9 shots he faced as the teams went to overtime for the first time in the Okanagan Cup.
The overtime frame saw the Vees possess the puck for a longer period of time and created a couple of good chances but, once again, both goaltenders remained to be the story in the extra frame as the game shifted into a shootout.
Quinn Hutson and Elan Bar Lev Wise traded goals in the second round of the skills competition while Matteo Costantini made a nifty move before finishing through the legs of Bennett for the game winning marker and helping the Vees to their fourth straight victory in a 3-2 win.
Yaniv Perets turned aside 30 of the 32 shots thrown in his direction, including two of the three shooters faced in the shootout in his 3rd victory of the Okanagan Cup while Zach Bennett stopped 43 of the 45 shots fired his way along with one of the three shooters he faced in the shootout in his 1st Okanagan Cup loss.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 Vees (SO)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 45-32 Vees
VEES PP: 2/4
VEES PK: 1/2
The Vees (4-0-0-0) will play their third opponent in the Okanagan Cup as they host the Vernon Vipers (0-2-0-0) on Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Puck drop is slated for 6:00 PM with the game available via a FREE live audio stream at mixlr.com/pentictonvees as well as pay-per-view at HockeyTV.com.