The Penticton Vees fell short against the Prince George Spruce Kings in last night’s Wicked Wednesday game.
The Spruce Kings were the first to get on the board at the South Okanagan Events Centre, thanks to a shot by Nick Bochen at 4:11 in the first that saw the puck deflected off Carter Cochrane’s stick and a Vees defender’s skate before slipping past Carl Stankowski glove side.
Shortly after, Lukas Sillinger had an excellent scoring chance when he made a breakaway following a long pass by Evan McIntyre.
Unfortunately, Prince George goalie Jett Alexander stopped the puck blocker side.
This didn’t deter Sillinger from trying again moments later when he received a pass from Captain David Silye from behind the Spruce Kings net.
Again, Alexander made the save, this time on his glove side.
Vees evened the playing field in the second period when Evan MacIntyre fired the puck from his backhand to the Danny Weight, who was in the left face-off circle.
Weight was able to beat Alexander on his blocker side at 7:28, making it his 14th goal of the season.
Despite spending most of the second period in the Spruce Kings’ end and sending 15 shots on goal, the Spruce Kings were able to take the lead again after Stankowski blocked a shot by Ryan McAllister that rebounded to the left face-off circle.
As Stankowski dove, Wil Kushniryk sent the puck over him to make it a 2-1 game at the 14:37 mark in the second.
The Spruce Kings’ lead was further extended in the third when McAllister passed the puck to Kushniryk, who passed it back to McAllister when he reached the slot and beat Stankowski on his blocker side at 1:32 in the third.
The Vees stayed in the game thanks to a pass from Colton Kalezic to Tyler Ho at the left face-off circle. Ho deflected the puck on Alexander’s glove side to make it a 3-2 game at 1:58 in the last stanza.
Silye tied the game up at the 3:02 mark when he took a pass from Sillinger in the right side, and was able to beat Alexander glove side for his 10th goal of the season.
The teams stayed neck-in-neck until the Spruce Kings scored again at the 14:19 mark thanks to Nolan Welsh, who beat Stankowski on a rebound after he made the initial save.
In a last ditch effort, Penticton pulled their goalie but were unable to get the puck past Alexander. Welsh went on to score the last goal, an empty-netter that gave the Spruce Kings a 5-3 victory.
In total, Stankowski stopped 16 out of 20 shots while Alexander stopped 31 out of 34 shots.
The Vees take the ice next for the first in a home-and-home series at the Nicola Vallery Memorial Arena against the Merritt Centennials on Friday night, with the puck drop at 7 p.m. The Vees are back on home ice on Saturday night, with the puck drop at 8 p.m. against the Centennials.
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