SALMON ARM - You can forgive the Penticton Vees for not being keen on visiting Salmon Arm any time soon. For the second time in as many games this season, the Silverbacks beat the Vees at the Shaw Centre, skating to a 5-2 win on Friday night, Dec. 11.
The Vees are now winless in two trips, 90 days apart, to the North Okanagan this season. The five goals is the most the Vees have given up this season and they’ve been outscored 9-4 by the ‘Backs in two games.
Carson Bolduc scored twice for the home team and they got singles from Colton Thibault, Chase Zieky and Elijiah Barriga. Scott Conway scored both of the Vees goals as he extended his point streak in a losing effort.
Bolduc scored the first two goals of the game and without taking a direct shot at the net. His first, 25-seconds into a power-play, went off of Zach Driscoll’s stick and through his legs, after Bolduc fired the puck from the right-wing goal-line; the icebreaker coming 15-minutes in.
Then, with less than half a minute remaining in the first, Bolduc double the ‘Backs lead from behind the goal-line. The puck ended up kicking off the stanchion, deflecting back out front, and then off the back of Driscoll’s leg at the post, before dribbling across the line; the freak bounce putting Salmon Arm up 2-0 at 19:35.
Anthony Brodeur came into start the second period, after Zach Driscoll surrendered two goals on seven shots in 20-minutes.
Conway got the Vees on the scoreboard just under five-minutes into the middle frame. The 20-year-old came out from behind the net and roofed a backhand up high at 4:46; his team-leading 26th.
The Vees couldn’t sustain the momentum, as the Backs came back and scored two 42-seconds apart midway through the second, to build up a 4-1 lead.
First, just after a Salmon Arm power-play expired, the Vees failed to clear the zone and after a scramble in the crease, Thibault was credited with his 16th of the season at 8:58; he was the last to touch a bouncing puck. Two shifts later, The Vees coughed the puck up on the wall and Zieky went upstairs on the short-side over Brodeur’s should to make it 4-1 at 9:40.
Conway gave the Vees some life in third when he cut the deficit to two just shy of the nine-minute mark. Easton Brodzinski found Conway out front and he went top corner for his 27th at 8:58.
However, any thought of a comeback attempt by Penticton was snuffed out late. Just after a great chance in the Salmon Arm end, the Silverbacks raced back down the other way, and Elijiah Barriga cut to the net and stuffed a shot over Brodeur’s blocker at 13:39; his third goal in two games against the Vees.
Final Score: 5-2 Silverbacks
Shots: 33-25 Silverbacks
Power-Play: Vees 0-2 Silverbacks 1-2
Three Stars: 1) Carson Bolduc 2) Mike Winnitoy 3) Ross Heidt
Friday was just the Vees third regulation loss this season and it snapped a six-game unbeaten run dating back to November 21st. Conway’s two goals extended his BCHL-best point streak to 29-games, which dates back all the way to September 16th. Nic Jones had his 5-game point streak come to an end in the loss.
The Vees (28-3-1-0) return home tomorrow, to host the Silverbacks (20-8-2-1) in the back half of this weekend home-and-home set; face-off is 6pm. Tickets are available at the Valley First box office (at the SOEC), or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com.