PHOTO: Mike Hockley
TRAIL, B.C. – The Penticton Vees battled from a two-goal deficit and threw 46 shots on goal but fell by a 4-3 score to the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday night at the Trail Memorial Centre.
The Vees came out with a strong jump in the hockey game, taking an 11-3 lead in shots through the midway point of the opening period but Smoke Eaters goaltender Logan Terness stood tall in the 1st period, making saves on all 15 shots he faced while Yaniv Perets was up to the task in the first twenty minutes as well, stopping all 6 shots thrown his way.
The 2nd period made up for what the 1st period lacked in scoring as the Smoke Eaters drew first blood at the 3:26 mark of the middle stanza as Braden Costello gave the home side a 1-0 lead. Max Kryski played a pass from below the goal line to the slot as Costello whacked a puck past the glove side of Perets to give Trail a one-goal advantage.
45 seconds after the goal, Trail added to their lead and jumped ahead by a 2-0 score as the league’s leading goal scorer in Kent Johnson added to the advantage. The Smoke Eaters forward got around a Vees defender down the right wing and snuck past the glove side of Perets before tucking the puck inside the right post to give Trail a 2-0 lead at the 4:11 mark.
David Silye continued his scoring touch as the Vees captain got Penticton on the scoreboard and cut the Smoke Eaters lead to a goal. Silye took a pass from the left wing off the stick of Jack Barnes and chipped from his left to his right before taking a shot from the edge of the left face-off circle that beat the glove side of Terness for his 17th goal of the season and a 2-1 score at the 6:55 mark.
More pressure led to Penticton evening the score at the 15:22 mark of the middle frame as Danny Weight added his team leading 18th goal of the season. Liam Malmquist threw a shot on goal from inside the left point that Terness was able to stop but Weight was on top of the crease and pushed the puck through the blocker side of Terness to even the game at 2-2 into the 3rd period.
The Smoke Eaters regained their lead early in the 3rd period, despite the Vees carrying most of the play in the offensive end. Jaden Senkoe sent a pass from the blocker side on the goal line to an open Costello in the slot, who converted his second goal of the game past the glove side of Perets 3:06 into the period to give Trail a 3-2 advantage.
Penticton gave their best effort in an attempt to find the game’s tying goal again and pulled their goaltender to give themselves a 6-on-5 advantage late in the 3rd period. It was the Smoke Eaters who found the back of the empty net with Johnson getting a puck at centre ice and wristing in his second of the game at the 17:55 mark for a 4-2 lead.
The Vees were resilient, however, and battled to get the game within a goal at the 18:58 mark as Malmquist wired a slap shot from the slot over the glove side of Terness for his 13th marker of the season on a 6-on-5 attack to make it a 4-3 game but Trail would hang on for the victory.
Yaniv Perets turned aside 23 of the 26 shots he faced in the game in his 7th loss of the season while Logan Terness made 43 saves on 46 shots in his 20th win of the year.
FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Smoke Eaters
SHOTS ON GOAL: 46-27 Vees
VEES PP: 0/1
VEES PK: 2/2
1) Braden Costello (2-0-2)
2) Kent Johnson (2-0-2)
3) Liam Malmquist (1-1-2)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Logan Terness (43 saves on 46 shots)
The Vees (31-11-1-1) return home for the back half of their World Championship home-and-home weekend against the Trail Smoke Eaters (26-13-2-1-1) on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Both teams will again be donning their vintage jerseys with puck drop slated for 6:00 PM from the SOEC. Tickets are available for purchase at the Valley First Box Office or online at ValleyFirstTix.com.