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Preview: Vees conclude busy stretch against Trail

Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (19-8-1-2) are finishing off a stretch of 12 games in 25 days Saturday against the Trail Smoke Eaters (11-14-4-2), and with a win can push their record to 10-2 over that span.

Friday the Vees wrapped up a four-game road swing in Trail, bouncing back from a frustrating loss in Wenatchee to down the Smoke Eaters 7-4.

Ryan Sandelin scored twice while the Vees got singles from Eric Linell. David Silye. Mason Snell, Andre Ghantous and Cassidy Bowes in the win. Jack LaFontaine finished with 24 saves in the win. The goal for Ghantous snapped a 15-game goalless drought, in the building he called home for two seasons.

After Sandelin’s first goal of the game in the first period, the Vees had a lead of at least two goals for the remainder of the night.  

The Vees used their power play to their advantage Friday night, scoring three times as the Smoke Eaters began getting frustrated as the game carried on. Trail forward Carter Jones was ejected from the game for a checking from behind call against Cassidy Bowes in the dying seconds of the second period.

The three man-advantage goals pushed Penticton’s power play to 22.5 per cent, good for second in the BCHL behind only the Victoria Grizzlies. 

Penticton chased Trail starting goaltender Adam Marcoux after the seventh goal, bringing in 16-year-old Logan Terness. In his first ever junior hockey action, Terness turned aside all 15 shots he faced in relief.

The win, combined with a Merritt loss in Vernon, gave Penticton a three-point lead atop the Interior Division. Each game from Saturday until the Christmas break is imperative for the Vees, as all eight games are against Divisional opponents.

Including Saturday, the Vees will see Trail three times, Wenatchee twice, West Kelowna twice and Vernon once before the league takes it’s Christmas break beginning December 23.

Team Statistics

Leading Scorers

Penticton Vees

David Silye – 13G 27A 30GP

James Miller – 15G 24A 30GP

Eric Linell – 18G 19A 32GP

Trail Smoke Eaters

Chase Stevenson – 12G 14A 30GP

Braeden Tuck – 10G 16A 31GP

Carter Jones – 9G 17A 31GP

Special Teams

Penticton Vees

Power Play – 22.5 per cent (2nd in BCHL)

Penalty Kill – 83.1 per cent (6th in BCHL)

Trail Smoke Eaters

Power Play – 20.7 per cent (5th in BCHL)

Penalty Kill – 76.3 per cent (16th in BCHL)

Season Series

November 10, 2018 – Vees 4 vs Smoke Eaters 3 OT Boxscore

November 30, 2019 – Vees 7 @ Smoke Eaters 4 Boxscore

December 1, 2018 – Vees vs Smoke Eaters

December 14, 2018 – Vees vs Smoke Eaters

December 15, 2018 – Vees @ Smoke Eaters

February 13, 2019 – Vees @ Smoke Eaters