PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
PENTICTON, B.C. – The Penticton Vees scored five goals from five different goal scorers in earning their fourth straight win to begin the season in a 5-3 triumph over the Cranbrook Bucks on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The first period saw plenty of defensive action as Grade ‘A’ scoring chances were hard to come by as both goaltenders stood tall to the task. Nathan Airey in the Cranbrook net had to make a strong save with the right pad, kicking out a rebound bid from Jacob Quillan to keep the game scoreless before the Vees drew first blood at the 14:51 mark.
Liam Malmquist cracked the ice and collected his first goal of the season in the last part of the opening frame with a nice backhand shot over the glove side of Airey. Malmquist flipped a backhand shot over the shoulder from the left face-off circle to collect his first goal of the season and a 1-0 lead heading into the second period of action.
The Vees depth scoring continued to show in the 2nd period as affiliate player Crae Dawson found his way to the back of the net for his first in the BC Hockey League. Jacob Quillan made a fantastic play to get around a defender on the right wing as he pushed the puck to the right face-off circle and slid a pass across to the blocker side where Dawson deflected into the back of the net to push the Vees lead to 2-0.
The Bucks had an answer just under a minute later and starting a string of goals that came just moments after each other as Christian Lowe pushed the Bucks within a marker. Lowe was sent on a breakaway from Zeth Kindrachuk as he walked in alone from the blue line and beat Kaeden Lane through the five hole at the 7:38 mark of the middle stanza to cut the Vees advantage to 2-1.
Just a few moments after that, 26 seconds to be exact, Noah Leibl tied the game for Cranbrook at the 8:04 mark of middle frame to even the score at 2-2. Lane made an original stop on a shot from the blue line before Reece Henry bunted the puck to his left as Leibl snapped it past the glove of Lane to level the game.
Just 18 seconds after that tally, Ryan McGuire found the back of the net for his first career BCHL marker and quickly pushed the Vees back in front by a 3-2 score. Frank Djurasevic dropped a pass just inside the blue line as McGuire let a shot go from the right half boards that had eyes from the back of the net, beating Airey over the glove hand to help the Vees to a one-goal lead once more at the 8:22 mark.
Cranbrook would, again, have a response as it was Kindrachuk who would get the Bucks third tally and even the score. Cranbrook stripped the puck at the goal line and Kindrachuk gathered in the bottom of the left face-off circle before sliding a shot through the legs of Lane at the 13:12 mark to make it a 3-3 tie.
Tristan Amonte drew a double-minor penalty for kneeing that brought the Vees to the power play and they made the Bucks pay with the eventual game winning marker of the stick of Quillan. The forward collected a Fin Williams shot and deposited the rebound past Airey for his 2nd goal of the season and pushed Penticton back ahead by a 4-3 margin.
Luc Wilson put the finishing touches on the scoring for the Vees, adding an insurance marker in the 3rd period with his 4th goal of the campaign on a great feed from below the goal line by Ryan Upson. Wilson caught the pass in the left face-off circle and snapped a shot past the glove of Airey at the 11:05 mark of the 3rd frame to give the Vees a two-goal lead.
Penticton surrendered just two shots against in the final 20 minutes of play en route to their fourth straight win with Kaeden Lane turning aside 15 of the 18 shots thrown his way in his 4th victory of the season. Nathan Airey stopped 38 of the 43 shots he faced in his 3rd loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 5-3 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 43-18 Vees
VEES PP: 1/6
VEES PK: 3/3
1) Jacob Quillan (1-1-2)
2) Liam Malmquist (1-0-1)
3) Zeth Kindrachuk (1-1-2)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Drake Burgin (0-0-0)
The Vees (4-0-0-0) will be back in action on Sunday afternoon as they face-off against the Trail Smoke Eaters (1-3-0-0) for the third time this season. Puck drop is slated for 4:00 PM with the game broadcasted live on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as on HockeyTV.com and Shaw Spotlight beginning with the pre-game show at 3:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.