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Preview: Vees meet Bulldogs for third and final time

Port Alberni, BC: The Penticton Vees (19-5-1-2) began their Island road trip with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Nanaimo Clippers Friday night and now look for the weekend sweep tonight against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (8-14-2-4).

Owen Sillinger scored on the power play late in the first period to tie the game against the Clippers before Grant Cruikshank netted the eventual game winner six and a half minutes into the second period on a rebound from Taz Burman.

Adam Scheel finished with 22 saves, carrying over his strong play from November in which he went 6-1-0-1 with a .949 save percentage.

Nolan Hildebrand will get the start in net tonight as the Vees look to extend their winning streak to double digits. They’ll be doing so against an Alberni squad that has just one win in their last eight games.

The Bulldogs most recent game was November 26 against the Victoria Grizzlies, an 8-5 loss. John Hawthorne was on the hook for all eight goals against, and now finds himself with a new goalie partner as Colten Lancaster was traded to the Flin Flon Bombers in Saskatchewan. Alberni announced late last night they had acquired Brock Lefebvre from the Thief River Falls Norskies.

Tonight’s game will be the third and final meeting of the season against the Bulldogs with Penticton looking for the step. The two teams first met at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, a game that saw the Bulldogs leading 2-0 after the first period.

Scheel came in in relief making 19 saves while Ben Allen scored twice and Dakota Boutin added another to give the Vees the come-from-behind 3-2 win.

October 27 the Bulldogs came to the South Okanagan Events Centre and the Vees sent them home empty handed with a 4-2 win. Jared Nash played hero that night with two goals while Hildebrand made 31 saves in net.

Saturday’s broadcast can be heard with Craig Beauchemin on EZ Rock AM 800, online by clicking on this sentence or watched on a pay-per-view basis at www.hockeytv.com. Please note: the away audio for the HockeyTV broadcast will not be running tonight.

Team statistics 

Leading Scorers

Penticton Vees

Owen Sillinger – 12 G 17 A 27 GP

Nicky Leivermann – 7 G 16 A 26 GP

Jonny Tychonick – 5 G 18 A 25 GP

Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Keaton Mastrodonato – 9 G 10 A 28 GP

Mitch Oliver – 6 G 12 A 28 GP

Jackson Doucet – 10 G 7 A 28 GP

Special Teams

Penticton Vees

Power play – 23.3% (1st in BCHL)

Penalty kill – 88.9% (1st in BCHL)

Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Power play – 16.3% (14th in BCHL)

Penalty kill – 80.4% (12th in BCHL)

Season series

September 22, 2017 – Vees 3 @ vs Bulldogs 2 Boxscore

October 27, 2017 – Vees 4 vs Bulldogs 2 Boxscore

December 2, 2017 – Vees @ Bulldogs