Written by, Wayne Moore
December 30, 2012, Kelowna, BC., (ISN) – The Penticton Vees got some semblance of revenge Saturday night, beating the West Kelowna Warriors 4-2 before more than 1,100 fans at Royal LePage Place.
The win came after the Vees were beaten 5-2 on their home turf one night earlier.
The game had all the earmarks of a playoff game – hard hitting, at times chippy, with a nasty streak running through both teams.
With nine seconds left and the outcome no longer in doubt tensions boiled over in the Vees end.
Three players from each team were handed misconducts while Warriors captain Max French and Vees Brock Balson were given fighting majors and game misconducts.
The melee resulted in 96 minutes in penalties.
Tensions even spilled into the crowd after the game when a Warriors fan had to be restrained by security when he went after Vees netminder Chad Katunar.
As for the game itself, the Vees snapped a 2-2 tie with a pair of unanswered goals in the third period in picking up the victory.
Sam Mellor put the Vees ahead to stay 40 seconds into the final period when he somehow managed to jam the puck over the line during a mad scramble around the Warriors net.
Following a Warriors turnover at the defensive blueline six minutes later, Jedd Soleway batted a rebound out of mid-air and past Briggs to close out the scoring.
The Vees never trailed in the hockey game, taking a pair of one goal leads only to have the Warriors battle back to tie it on both occasions.
Marcus Basara (with his team leading 18th of the season) and Adam Plant with a laser beam on a five-on-three power-play managed to beat Katunar.
Brad McClure in the final minute of the first (with a wrist shot that handcuffed Briggs) and (Soleway from a sharp angle on a power-play early in the second) had the other goals for the Vees.
The Warriors had several grade ‘A’ chances, however, Jetlan Houcher rang one off the post from in close in the first and Shawn Hochhausen rattled a shot off the bar from the slot in the second.
Vee Sam Mellor caught the crossbar on a Penticton power-play in the middle frame.
Warriors coach Rylan Ferster agreed the game had a playoff feel to it.
“I thought the two teams played hard, We had some chances, they had some chances and it was unfortunate that a couple went in that we would like to have back,” says Ferster.
The Warriors, playing without four key forwards lost defenceman Adam Plant to a concussion in the third period.
“It was a direct hit to the head and he has a concussion. We have it on tape and we asked the referee about it already and he had said it was not a hit to the head,” says Ferster.
Ferster says the Warriors will send a copy of the tape into the league.
Friday’s game in Penticton also ended on a sour note when Vees Wade Murphy hit Matt Anholt from behind well after the Warriors forward had scored into the empty net.
While Ferster says he doesn’t necessarily believe Saturday’s game was a spill-over from the night before, he does say it’s something you don’t forget.
“You have one of the best players in the league take a shot at a guy from behind – I don’t think we’re going to forget something like that. It’s an empty net goal and there’s no reason to do anything,” added Ferster.
“I don’t know if they think we’re going to forget that but we’re not going to.”
The two teams meet just once more during the regular season, January 26 in Penticton.
The Warriors will try to get back on the winning track next weekend when they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals Friday before travelling to Vernon Saturday.
Enjoy further Warriors coverage at The General’s Report.