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Vees drop season opener in Langley 5-2

Langley, BC: The Penticton Vees (0-1-0) ran into penalty trouble in the third period and dropped a 5-2 game to the Langley Rivermen (1-0-0) to open the 2018-19 BCHL season.

The game started off well for Penticton as James Miller let a wrist shot go from the right point that deflected off a Langley body and past Braeden Fleming just 32 seconds into the game.

Eleven minutes later, Mark Gallant intercepted a pass at the Penticton blue line and came in on a breakaway, beating Jack LaFontaine over the blocker to tie the game. It was the first shot on net for Langley.

Four minutes later Gallant scored again. Ethan Leyh took a rink-wide feed and let a wrist shot go from the right circle that barely squeaked under the arm of LaFontaine. Gallant was heading to the crease looking for a rebound and was easily able to slide the loose puck into the net to give the Rivermen a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission.

Just over five minutes into the second, Luke Loheit wired home a wrist shot from the high slot for his first career BCHL goal to tie the game. Loheit was then on the receiving end of a heavy hit inside the Langley zone and was forced to leave the game, but would return for the third period.

Early in the third Langley regained their lead as Andrew Lucas skated in from the blue line, all the way down to the goal line before jamming the puck on net. Trevor Ayre was there to chip the rebound home for his first of the year.

Later in the period the Vees ran into penalty trouble and the Rivermen made them pay. First it was Gallant who completed his hat trick by banking the puck off LaFontaine and into the net from below the goal line. 

Just a few minutes later, Brian Scoville let a one timer go from the point that ramped up off a Vees stick and into the top corner to make it 5-2.

The Vees now have a week of practice before they hit the ice for game action again as they’ll travel to Vancouver Island for games against the Cowichan Valley Capitals and Victoria Grizzlies.