PENTICTON - Fitting Friday night looked like a Wild West shootout, with the Brooks Bandits in town. After the dust settled, the Penticton Vees were the last one’s standing in a 6-5 overtime, pre-season win at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Newcomer Owen Sillinger was the hero, scoring 2:33 into overtime on an odd-man rush, capping off a back-and-forth game. Gabe Bast found a streaking Sillinger down the left-wing and he put a shot up and over Brooks’ goaltender Josh Davies.
It may have ended well but the start was far from picture perfect. The Vees spotted the Bandits a 3-0 lead in the first period.
Shane Bear, short-handed, opened the scoring for the visitors early in the first. Bear tapped-in a pass at the side of the net at 2:18. Then, Taylor Karel doubled the Bandits lead on a pop-fly from the blue-line that found its way up and over Brendan Barry at 7:24.
The lead bulged to three for the Bandits when Jessie Pereira picked the corner from the slot at 12:02.
The Vees started digging themselves out of the three-goal hole just moments later. Jason Lavallée jammed the puck in at the side of the net on the power-play at 13:26.
That goal seemed to spark the Vees heading into the middle stanza. Dixon Bowen cut the deficit to one, ninety-six seconds in. From right in front, Bowen smacked in a bouncing puck into the top of the net.
Tyson Jost brought the Vees back on even terms late in the second on the man-advantage. The Vees’ Captain hammered a shot from the right-circle that rippled the twine at 14:53.
It was a back-and-forth third period, as the teams traded goals but the Vees grabbed their first lead just minutes in on a Taylor Ward breakaway. Ward took a great pass from Seamus Donohue and snapped a shot over Davies’ glove at 2:24.
That lead only lasted two-minutes, as Jared Cockrell knotted the game at four’s at 4:24. But the Vees went ahead, again, when Jost decided to take matters into his own hands.
As a Vees power-play was expiring, Jost busted down the left-wing, swung around the net and then fired a dart into the top corner at 7:17; the Captain’s second of the game. But the Bandits had an answer for that goal too.
Four-minutes later Hayden Ursulak managed to bounce a puck over Barry after a scramble in front of the Vees net; the game tied up at five’s at 11:21.
After some early pressure by Brooks in overtime, the Vees made good on their first crack in the offensive zone. Bast putting the puck on Sillinger’s stick on the far-side and the rookie put the puck over a diving Josh Davies.
FINAL SCORE: 6-5 Vees
Shots: 32-26 Brooks
Power-Plays: Vees 3-9 Brooks 1-6
The Vees and Bandits wrap-up their two-game set Saturday, Sept. 5; puck drop is 6 pm. Tickets are just $5 and available at the Valley First box office (at the SOEC). Students (18 and under) and children are free, courtesy of Peters Brothers Construction*.
*Free student and children tickets are not applicable in the premium seating sections at the SOEC