PHOTO: Kyle Robinson/Kyle Robinson Photography
VICTORIA, B.C. – The Penticton Vees earned their fifth straight win behind a 30-save performance from Yaniv Perets in a 4-1 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday night at The Q Centre.
After a bit of a sluggish start a night ago in Surrey, the Vees were quick on the attack in Victoria and opened the scoring just 1:24 into the game with Lukas Sillinger earning the Vees first goal again. Tristan Amonte forced the puck ahead on the right wing as Sillinger took the puck and shot from the right face-off circle with his first attempt being blocked but he collected the rebound and fired a shot over the glove side of Grizzlies goaltender Blake Wood for his 8th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead early in the game.
The Vees had a couple of good looks through the opening period and buried on a terrific display of vision from Danny Weight that doubled their advantage. Weight gathered the puck on a turnover in the right-wing corner and spotted Liam Malmquist open on the blocker side as he sent a pass to the front of the net where Malmquist banged in his 6th goal of the season and scored for the third consecutive game for a 2-0 lead at the 15:59 mark of the 1st period.
Penticton continued to press in the 2nd period of play, putting 12 shots on goal in the frame but Wood stood tall and turned aside all of the shots thrown his way, including a tic-tac-toe passing play started by Malmquist to pass to Jackson Niedermayer in the left face-off circle before sending a pass to the right side as Danny Weight was denied by the glove of Wood to keep the game at 2-0.
Yaniv Perets was also strong in the Vees net, turning aside a Marty Westhaver breakaway in the final five minutes of the middle stanza but the Grizzlies broke through with their first goal of the game with just over a minute to go in the period to cut the deficit to one goal.
Westhaver centered a pass to the slot where Henri Schreifels had it poked off his stick before he was able to leave the puck in the slot where Bryce Anderson followed up on the play and pushed in the Grizzlies first goal of the game past the glove side of Perets with 1:04 remaining in the period to make it a 2-1 Vees lead heading into the 3rd period.
Quickly into the 3rd period, Penticton restored their two-goal advantage just 36 seconds into the frame as Jay O’Brien made it a 3-1 score. O’Brien got the puck in the slot from Colton Kalezic and outwaited Wood as he moved to his right and slid the puck by the glove side for his 11th goal of the season and a 3-1 Vees lead early in the period.
The Vees finished out the scoring at 4:36 mark as Vincent Nardone pushed the Penticton lead to three goals. Jack Barnes forced the issue behind the net, jarring the puck free behind the Victoria net where Nardone gathered and stuffed it in on the glove side of Wood for his 4th goal of the season to push the Vees ahead by a 4-1 score.
Yaniv Perets turned aside 30 of the 31 shots he faced in his 9th victory of the season while Blake Wood stopped 34 of the 38 shots thrown his direction in his 6th loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 4-1 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 38-31 Vees
VEES PP: 0/2
VEES PK: 2/2
1) Danny Weight (0-1-1)
2) Liam Malmquist (1-0-1)
3) Bryce Anderson (1-0-1)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Blake Wood (34 saves on 38 shots)
The Vees (16-3-1-0) make their way back home for the second Wicked Wednesday of the season as they take on the Trail Smoke Eaters (13-6-2-1) at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM on Wednesday night with tickets priced just $5 and available for purchase at the SOEC Box Office as well as online at ValleyFirstTix.com.