PENTICTON - The Powell River Kings were merely keeping the throne warm. The Penticton Vees overcame a 3-1, first period deficit, en route to a 5-3 come from behind win over the Kings Saturday, Jan. 16, at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Kings had the reigning BCHL and Western Canada Cup championships on the ropes, as the visitors were up 2-0 in the first six-minutes, but the Vees found a way to right the ship in the final two periods, for their third straight win.
Easton Brodzinski scored twice, including the game-winner midway through the third, and Chris Gerrie, Colton Poolman and Nic Jones added singles for the Vees. Anthony Brodeur kept his unbeaten record intact, stopping 20 of 23 shots in picking up his 22nd win.
Kyle Betts, Tristian Mullin and Rylan Ball scored for the Kings who still have yet to pick up their first franchise win at the SOEC since it opened in September of 2008.
The game had yet to start and the Vees got off (well not soon enough) on the wrong foot, when they were assessed a penalty after warm-up; one player didn’t leave the in time. The Kings capitalized on their opening power-play, as Kyle Betts tipped in a point shot 91-seconds into the contest.
It went from bad to worse four and a half minutes later, when the Kings doubled their lead. Tristian Mullin grabbed the puck, moved to the middle and squeaked his shot through Brodeur’s wickets at 6:01.
Gerrie gave the fans something to cheer about late in the opening frame on a nice solo rush down the right-wing. In need of spark, Gerrie delivered, when he took the scenic route around the Kings goal, before tucking in a wraparound inside the far-post at 16:28; his 12th cutting the deficit in half.
The goodwill was short lived however, as the Kings went right back to the power-play and again made the most of the opportunity. Rylan Ball cranked a one-timer from the right-wing and through a crowd at 17:47; the Kings scoring two power-play goals in the first.
It was just the second time all season he Vees had given up three first period goals and the first time on home ice.
Penticton did a 180 in the second and their persistent pressure paid off midway through the stanza. Colton Poolman got the Vees within striking distance, after his blast from the blue-line got through everything, including the goaltender, at 13:09; his second goal of the New Year.
The Vees seemed to feed of that marker and soon equalized inside the final two-minutes of the middle stanza. After Powell River coughed up the puck at the Vees blue-line, Sillinger sprung Brodzinski and Jones on the rare two-on-oh rush the other way. Jones elected to pass it across to Brodzinski who forced the puck past the goalie’s pad for his 24th at 18:29
The home side kept coming in the third and the breakthrough came just past the midway mark. Right off a face-off, Brodzinski darted to a loose puck in the circle and quickly snapped it upstairs over the goalie’s glove at 11:35; his second and 25th.
Jones then sealed the comeback win with an empty-net goal with 12-seconds left in the third period.
Final Score: 5-3 Vees
Shots: 40-23 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 0-4 Kings 2-5
Three Stars: 1) Easton Brodzinski 2) Owen Sillinger 3) Jeremy Leclerc
Owen Sillinger finished with three assists in the win and finished the week with two goals and eight points in three games; all wins. Scott Conway had a pair of assists Saturday and remains one point back of the BCHL scoring lead with 87 in 41games. After Saturday, the Vees have now outscored their opponents 18-3 in the second period in the month of January.
The Vees (37-5-1-0) now prepare for their international exhibition game against the Red Bull Salzburg Under-20 team on Wednesday, January 20th; game time is 7 pm. Tickets are just $5 for game and are available at the Valley First box office (at the SOEC).