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Preview: Vees begin weekend swing in Coquitlam

Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (16-7-1-2) won their third game in a row Wednesday night with a 6-1 drubbing of the Surrey Eagles, and now look to hand the slumping Coquitlam Express (15-10-1-0) their fifth straight loss.

Wednesday, Massimo Rizzo scored just 2:19 into the game and the Vees scored twice in each period en route to the win. Jackson Niedermayer’s first career BCHL goal in the first period turned out to be the game winner.

David Silye, Ryan Sandelin, James Miller and Cole Shepard also scored, with all four of those player, and Rizzo, each recording an assist as well. Jack Lafontaine finished with 20 saves in net, lowering his goals against average to a minuscule 1.99.

The Express, after being in a tight race for first in the Mainland Division with Chilliwack, have seen themselves drop to third in the division with their recent slide. Their 31 points are nine behind Chilliwack and seven behind the Prince George Spruce Kings.

After giving up just 53 goals in their first 21 games, Coquitlam has given up 25 over their last four games, all losses. Most recently was Tuesday in Langley in which the Express had a 5-3 lead heading into the third before giving up four unanswered goals, including two shorthanded, in a 7-5 loss.

The penalty kill has been an Achilles heel for Coquitlam over the skid; they’ve given up eight power-play goals during the losing streak.

Penticton hosted the Express at the South Okanagan Events Centre October 24, a 3-2 Express shootout win. Brendan Harrogate scored twice for Penticton that night while Derek Krall made 22 saves during the 65 minutes of gameplay, but Chase Danol scored the only shootout goal to give Coquitlam the win.

Following the game the Vees will take on the Eagles to finish off the three-game season series before returning home and getting set for road games in Wenatchee and Trail next week.

Team Statistics

Leading Scorers

Penticton Vees

David Silye – 11G 23A 26GP

Eric Linell – 15G 15A 28GP

James Miller – 13G 19A 26GP

Coquitlam Express

Josh Wildauer – 12G 13A 25GP

Alex DiPaolo – 10G 15A 26GP

Regan Kimens – 7G 16A 26GP

Special Teams

Penticton Vees

Power Play – 20.0 per cent (7th in BCHL)

Penalty Kill – 83.3 per cent (6th in BCHL)

Coquitlam Express

Power Play – 16.9 per cent (14th in BCHL)

Penalty Kill – 82.2 per cent (8th in BCHL)

Season Series

October 24, 2018 – Vees 2 vs Express 3 SO Boxscore

November 23, 2018 – Vees @ Express