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Preview: Vees finish road stretch in Trail

29Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (18-8-1-2) turned over the puck too many times against the Wenatchee Wild Wednesday night, and they’ll look to get back to form against the Trail Smoke Eaters (11-13-4-2) at Cominco Arena Friday.

Wednesday, three of Wenatchee’s four goals could be directly attributed to a turnover in the defensive zone by the Vees, and the score could have been much worse than 4-2 if not for the goaltending of Jack LaFontaine.

Cassidy Bowes and Eric Linell scored for the Vees, while a handful of LaFontaine’s 35 saves were high-quality scoring chances for the Wild. The loss ended the Vees five-game winning streak.

The Smoke Eaters have been off since Saturday when they were shutout 1-0 on the road against the Vernon Vipers. Jesse Lansdell scored the only goal of the game early in the third period, while the Smoke Eaters were the unfortunate victim of an officiating error, costing them a goal.

Tyler Ghirardosi appeared to tie the game with just over six minutes to play, but the official behind the net waved the goal off, saying it hit the post and not the back of the net.

Friday’s game will be the second meeting of the season between the Vees and Smoke Eaters, and first since November 10 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

That night, the Smoke Eaters took a third-period lead before James Miller tied the game with 1:38 left in regulation.

Ryan Sandelin would then win the game, finishing off a wild sequence in overtime in which Derek Krall made a huge right pad save just seconds before the goal, which was set up with an incredible bank feed by David Silye, sending Sandelin in on a breakaway.

The last time the Vees were at Cominco Arena was March 24, a 6-1 win in game six of the Interior Division semi final. The two teams will meet again Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Team Statistics

Leading Scorers

Penticton Vees

David Silye – 12G 16A 29GP

James Miller – 15G 21A 29GP

Eric Linell – 17G 18A 31GP

Trail Smoke Eaters

Chase Stevenson – 11G 14A 29GP

Braeden Tuck – 10G 14A 30GP

Carter Jones – 9G 15A 30GP

Special Teams

Penticton Vees

Power Play – 20.5 per cent (4th in BCHL)

Penalty  Kill – 82.5 per cent (7th in BCHL)

Trail Smoke Eaters

Power Play – 21.3 per cent (3rd in BCHL)

Penalty Kill – 78.0 per cent (13th in BCHL)

Season Series

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

November 30, 2018 – Vees @ Smoke Eaters

December 1, 2018 – Vees @ Smoke Eaters

December 14, 2018 – Vees vs Smoke Eaters

December 15, 2018 – Vees @ Smoke Eaters

February 13, 2019 – Vees @ Smoke Eaters