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Vees done in by sluggish second period in loss to Silverbacks

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Penticton Vees
February 19, 2017 - 9:46 AM

PENTICTON - The Penticton Vees are probably happy to put their season series with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks behind them, after a 5-1 loss at the SOEC on Saturday night.

In front of a capacity crowd of over 4,200 fans on the Vees’ annual Anti-Bullying night, it was Salmon Arm making the most noise, scoring three unanswered goals early in the second, and then added a pair late, en route to snapping the Vees four-game win streak.

Connor Sundquist, Nathan Iannone and Austin Chorney steaked the visitors out to an early 3-0 lead in the second, and Jared Turcotte and Ryan Hogg scored inside the final two and a half minutes. Trevin Kozlowski, in his first start against Penticton, was named the game’s first star after stopping 35 of 36 shots.

Turner Ripplinger scored late in the second for Penticton to give them some life, but they were unable to find traction in the third period, as the Vees suffered their first regulation loss in February.  Nolan Hildebrand was tagged with his third loss, stopping 29 of 30 shots.

After a scoreless first period, the Vees had a great opportunity to break the deadlock on the power-play early in the second but it didn’t pan out the way they would have liked. After a turnover in the neutral zone, Salmon Arm’s Connor Sundquist took the puck the other way on a short-handed breakaway, and just muscled a shot past Hildebrand’s pad 80-seconds into the middle frame; just the third short-handed goal the Vees’ have surrendered this season.

The ‘Backs added to their less than two-minutes later, when Penticton native Nathan Iannone picked the corner from the right-wing, firing a rocket over Hildebrand’s shoulder at 2:11.

It didn’t get much better for the Vees, as the Silverbacks padded their lead on a power-play. On their third man-advantage, the ‘Backs Austin Chorney fired a shot from the left-wing that hit a Vee in front before going in past Hildebrand’s glove at 7:03.

It was a sluggish first 15-minutes to the second for Penticton but they seemed to find their game late in the frame and got themselves on the board with under three-minutes left. The puck came back to Griffin Mendel at the blue-line, who had his shot knocked down in front, but the rebound sat for Ripplinger who put it upstairs at 17:30; Ripplinger providing a late spark going into the intermission.

Penticton had a couple of cracks on the power-play early in the third to cut into the deficit but try as they might, Salmon Arm’s penalty-kill did its job, coming up with several key blocks and saves from Kozlowski.

Jared Turcotte put the game on ice when his clearing attempt off the boards in his own end ended up sliding down ice and into the Vees’ open net with two and a half minutes to go. Ryan Hogg added salt to the wound, when a rebound off of Hildebrand hit him and trickled in with just 13-seconds left.

Final Score: 5-1 Salmon Arm

Shots: 36-30 Vees

Power-Plays: Vees 0-5 Salmon Arm 1-5

Three Stars: 1) Trevin Kozlowski 2) Austin Chorney 3) Turner Ripplinger

Attendance: 4,225

Vees Notes: Defenceman Joe Leahy left the game late in the third period after taking a hit behind his net from Salmon Arm’s Marcus Mitchell; his status for Sunday is unknown. Gabe Bast, Sam Rossini, Mitch Meek and Taylor Sanheim did not dress for Penticton. Salmon Arm finishes with nine out of a possible 12 points against the Vees in the six-game season series. Saturday was the Silverbacks’ Trevin Kozlowski’s first win since November 25th against Merritt.

It’s a quick turnaround for the Vees (38-13-1-2), as the host the Victoria Grizzlies (36-11-4-4) Sunday afternoon at the SOEC; it’s a 2 pm face-off. The Grizzlies lost 3-2 in double-overtime in West Kelowna Saturday. This is the second and final meeting between the two teams, as it was the Grizzlies earning a 2-1 double-OT win over the Vees on February 4th.

Fans are encouraged to stay post-game for the Vees individual team awards ceremony that will be conducted right on the ice. Tickets are available at the Valley First box office and online at www.valleyfirsttix.com


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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