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Preview: Vees look for weekend sweep in Nanaimo

Nanaimo, BC: The Penticton Vees (32-12-1-2) jumped out to a huge lead and held on for a 4-3 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday night, and now look to sweep their weekend trip, and win their ninth straight game, as they visit the Nanaimo Clippers (22-24-0-0) for a 2:00 start.

Saturday the Vees scored four goals in the first 13:08 of the game, chasing Cole Demers from the Bulldogs net. John Hawthorne came into the net in relief and would end up turning aside all 25 shots sent his way for the remainder of the game.

Lukas Sillinger started, and ended, the Vees scoring while Evan McIntyre and Mason Snell also found the back of the net for Penticton who took a 4-0 lead into the first intermission.

The game seemed to turn on its head from the outset of the second period as the Bulldogs started to chip away at the Vees lead, cutting into it and making it 4-1 after two.

Alberni Valley then got a pair of goals in the third making it a one goal game with 3:45 to play, but Jack LaFonatine continued his stretch of hot play by finishing with 36 saves as the Vees won their eighth game in a row.

The Clippers were off Saturday night after hosting the Vernon Vipers on Friday. The Vipers scored twice just 20 seconds apart at the tail end of the second period before adding two more goals in the third to hand the Clippers a 4-1 loss.

The loss was the sixth in a row for Nanaimo who have been in a tail spin since coming to Penticton January 12. Heading into that game, the Clippers had won 10 straight, but haven’t won since.

The Vees took a 1-0 lead into the third period that night before Massimo Rizzo and Jack Barnes scored less than a minute apart to open the game up.

Tensions flared late after a big hit by Peter Muzyka, nearly resulting in a brawl as Muzyka was jumped by three different Clippers players. That combined with Devon Mussio’s kneeing major in the first period, which led to his ejection and a two-game suspension, sets up would should be a fiery matchup at the Frank Crane Arena.

Team Statistics

Leading Scorers

Penticton Vees

James Miller – 18G 37A 47GP

Eric Linell – 25G 27A 49GP

David Silye – 12G 32A 43GP

Nanaimo Clippers

Ethan Scardina – 24G 21A 44GP

Tyler Williams – 12G 21A 41GP

Marcus Mitchell – 14G 18A 31GP

Special Teams

Penticton Vees

Power Play – 19.2 per cent (12th in BCHL)

Penalty Kill – 81.5 per cent (7th in BCHL)

Nanaimo Clippers

Power Play – 18.9 per cent (13th in BCHL)

Penalty Kill – 75.0 per cent (17th in BCHL)

Season Series

January 12, 2019 – Vees 4 vs Clippers 1 Boxscore

January 27, 2019 – Vees @ Clippers