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Vees defence leads the way in win over Vipers

Photo credit: Lisa Mazurek

Vernon, BC: The Penticton Vees (11-5-1-2) didn’t get two points after a strong performance on Friday against the Vernon Vipers (14-5-0-4), but they continued that effort into Saturday and were rewarded with a 4-1 win.

An early two on one for the Vees saw Dakota Boutin trying to feed Jack Finley heading to the goal, but the pass was too in tight for Finley to get a shot on net.

The scoring was opened by the Vees with just under four minutes to go in the opening period. Nicky Leivermann leaned into a slap shot from the left point that hit Taylor Ward parked in front and deflected past Anthony Yamnitsky for Ward’s third of the year. Jared Nash got the second assist.

The score remained 1-0 Penticton until late in the second period. The Vees only got one power play Saturday night, but they made it count. Jonny Tychonick and Ward played catch at the blue line before Tychonick hammered a slap shot that got through all the traffic in front for his  fifth of the year.

Less than a minute and a half later, Jordan Henderson let a wrist shot go from the right point that beat a screened Yamnitsky for his first BCHL goal in his second game with the Vees.

Before the period was up the Vipers got on the board. Shane Kelly threw the puck on net from the right wing corner and it deflected off of Adam Scheel’s skate and into the net with 26 seconds remaining in the period.

Both teams had chances to find the back of the net as the third period progressed, highlighted by Cassidy Bowes ripping a slap shot off the goal post from the top of the left circle.

Owen Sillinger was called for hooking behind the Vernon net inside the final two minutes of the game, but it was the Vees who scored as Ryan O’Connell cleared the puck from his own zone all the way down into the open Vernon cage for his first BCHL goal.

Scheel finished with 29 saves as he recorded his first win since October 14 against the Victoria Grizzlies. The Vees now host the Surrey Eagles for the only time this season for another Wicked Wednesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.