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Preview: Vees return home to host Salmon Arm

Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (20-5-1-2) went to Vancouver Island last weekend and returned with four points after wins over Nanaimo and Port Alberni, extending their winning streak to 10 games. Now they host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (12-15-3-0) at the South Okanagan Events Centre for the second time in 12 days.

Saturday in Port Alberni the Vees weathered an early storm before scoring a late goal to head into the first intermission tied at one. A three-goal third period gave Penticton a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes before Owen Sillinger rounded out the scoring with a shorthanded goal in the third, the Vees seventh shorthanded goal of the season.

The ten-game winning streak has launched the Vees up the Interior Division standings as they find themselves in second place, just three points behind the Vernon Vipers. The Vees still have four games in hand on Vernon.

November 24 Penticton hosted the Silverbacks at the SOEC, coming out with a 3-2 overtime win thanks to Sillinger’s goal just 42 seconds into the extra frame. Nicky Leivermann and Massimo Rizzo scored to give the Vees a 2-0 lead late in the second, before Salmon Arm got a goal with just 12 seconds left in the period and tied the game with 2:36 remaining in the third.

After rebounding with a win against Wenatchee the following night, Salmon Arm has dropped back to back games. December 1 they hosted the Wild and lost 4-1 before travelling up to Prince George the next day, only to be shutout 3-0 by the Spruce Kings.

The Silverbacks sit in last place in the Interior Division, tied with the Merritt Centennials with 27 points. Wednesday’s game will be the third meeting of the season between the Vees and Silverbacks as they met September 15 at the Shaw Centre, a 6-2 Vees win.

The game also kicks off the fourth-straight three-game week for the Vees who host West Kelowna Friday and travel to Vernon Saturday. Over the last nine game the Vees have held their opponents to just 11 goals while scoring 45.

Special teams have played a crucial role for Penticton over that span as they have scored 12 power-play goals on 33 opportunities, while killing off 32 of 35 penalties. The Vees are atop the BCHL in both power play and penalty kill percentage.

Wednesday’s broadcast with Craig Beauchemin and Scott Austin can be heard with the pre-game show beginning at 6:40 on EZ Rock AM 800, online by clicking this sentence or viewed on a pay-per-view basis at www.hockeytv.com.

Team Statistics

Leading Scorers

Penticton Vees

Owen Sillinger – 13 G 17 A 28 GP

Nicky Leivermann – 7 G 16 A 27 GP

Jonny Tychonick – 5 G 18 A 25 GP

Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Rhett Kingston – 13 G 15 A 26 GP

Grayson Constable – 5 G 12 A 29 GP

Logan Mostat – 7 G 8 A 27 GP

Special Teams

Penticton Vees

Power play – 23.0% (1st in BCHL)

Penalty kill – 89.3% (1st in BCHL)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks 

Power play – 18.2% (11th in BCHL)

Penalty kill – 75.2% (16th in BCHL)

Season Series

September 15, 2017 – Vees 6 @ Silverbacks 2 Boxscore

November 24, 2017 – Vees 3 vs Silverbacks 2 OT Boxscore

December 6, 2017 – Vees vs Silverbacks

February 3, 2018 – Vees @ Silverbacks

February 21, 2018 – Vees @ Silverbacks

February 25, 2018 – Vees vs Silverbacks