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Recap: Warriors spoil Vees’ final regular season home game

PENTICTON, B.C. – The Penticton Vees wrapped up their regular season with a 5-1 loss to the West Kelowna Warriors, Sunday afternoon at the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC).

 Boxscore

Penticton closed out the 2023-24 regular season on a three-game slide, losing to Salmon Arm, Trail, and West Kelowna. All three losses came at home, which marks the first time since November 9th, 2012, the Vees have lost three in a row at the SOEC.

The Warriors got out to a quick start, scoring on their first two shots of the game, as they went up 2-0 before the four-minute mark. Warriors’ defenceman Sean Keohane opened the scoring just 26 seconds into the game. Then, Trent Wilson scored on a shorthanded breakaway to put the visitors on top 2-0 at 3:27.

The second period started off with a bang, literally, as Anselmo Rego threw an open ice hit on the Warriors Dylan Krayer just 57 seconds into the frame. Penticton didn’t turn that into any positive momentum, as the Warriors went up 3-0 a few minutes later.

Jack Pridham put the Warriors ahead by three with his 23rd goal of the season at 7:48 of the middle frame. Pridham took advantage of a poor line change by the Vees and scored off the rush down the left wing.

Then the Vees ran into penalty trouble and the Warriors capitalized. Jackson Kyrkostas made it 4-0 with his power play goal at 12:22, as he scored on a cross-ice pass from Wilson for his 23rd of the season.

Penticton’s penalty trouble flared up again late in the middle frame, as James Fisher was assessed an instigator, five-minute fighting major, and game misconduct after an altercation with the Warriors’ Viggo Nordstrom. The seven minute power play carried over into the third and West Kelowna capitalized.

Wilson scored his second of the game, on the extended power play, that padded the lead to 5-0 three and a half minutes into the frame.

Anselmo Rego spoiled the shutout bid for West Kelowna’s Matthew DellaRusso as he scored at 9:34, as he secure his 11th goal of the season

Penticton handed out their team awards following Sunday’s game. The winners were:

Unsung Hero: Billy Renfrew

Most Improved Player: Andrew Ness

Best Conditioned: Nate McIsaac

Robert Skinner Courage Award: Zack Stringer

Most Inspirational: Conyr Hellyer

Humanitarian Award: Anselmo Rego

Most Sportsmanlike: Thomas Pichette

Academic Award: Home Hardware

Vees’ Most Popular Player: Nate McIsaac

Fan Favourite: Anselmo Rego

Leading Scorer: Callum Arnott

Best Defenceman: Daniel Buchbinder

Rookie of the Year: Will Ingemann

MVP: Callum Arnott

GAME NOTES

The Vees finished with a 38-10-3-3 record in the regular season and were 4-3 in seven games against the Warriors. Their home record finished at 21-5-0-1.

GAME STATS

Shots: 38-29, Warriors

Vees Scoring: Rego (11)

Vees Goaltending: Andrew Ness (L) 60:00  33/38

Power-Plays

Vees: 0/4

Warriors: 2/6

Attendance: 2,720

Next Game: The Vees open their First Round BCHL Playoff series against the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday, April 5th, at the SOEC; face-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm. Playoff tickets are available at the Valley First box office, or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com