February 16, 2013, Penticton, BC (ISN) – Jedd Soleway scored a pair of goals, Chad Katunar made 27 saves and the Vees penalty-kill pulled through in a 2-1 win over the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks Friday.
The Vees have now strung together back-to-back wins and have won nine of their last 10.
The win also snaps a two-game slide against the Silverbacks, as the Vees finish the season series with five wins in seven games. The win also keeps the Vees six points ahead of the Merritt Centennials for top spot in the Interior Division, and they’re just one point back of Victoria for first overall in the BCHL.
Jedd Soleway was all the offense the Vees needed, as he scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season. Soleway opened the scoring midway through the first on a backhand between the circles. Soleway knocked down a Troy Stecher point-shot and fired a backhand over the glove of Silverbacks starter Angus Redmond at 10:34.
Soleway’s first of two standing up as the only goal from a fast-paced opening period; the Silverbacks outshooting the Vees 10-9.
Soleway made noise again in the early moments of the middle frame, as he cashed-in on a Silverbacks turnover. Soleway took a pass from Louie Nanne just outside the Salmon Arm line, skated in on the left-wing and put a hard wrist-shot past the outstretched blocker of Redmond at 1:34. Nanne picked-off a Silverbacks pass in the neutral zone creating the scoring chance of Soleway.
Things were going well for the Vees, holding a 2-0 lead midway through the game, but then things took a turn in the latter half of the second. The Vees ran into penalty trouble just past the 12 minute mark, as Sam Mellor, Troy Stecher and Wade Murphy all were fingered for penalties in a minute and a half span. The Vees did manage to kill-off overlapping five-on-three power-plays, but the Silverbacks didn’t let the opportunity go to waste. During the final five-on-four, former Vee Mitch Ferguson beat Chad Katunar with a point-shot over the glove at 15:32; just 15 seconds before the power-play was set to expire.
The Vees carried a one-goal lead into the dressing room, despite being short-handed for just over three minutes.
Both teams held one another in-check for the most part in the third period, as neither side wanted to cough-up any scoring chances. The Silverbacks did however apply some late pressure with the goalie pulled. In the dying moments of the third Alex Gillies missed a redirect in-tight and Brayden Sherbinin’s point-shot was stopped by the pad of Chad Katunar as time expired.
The Vees holding on for the hard-fought win, their second in as many games and first against Salmon Arm in three tries.
FINAL SCORE: 2-1 Vees
Power-Play: Vees 1-4 Silverbacks 0-4
Three Stars: 1) Jedd Soleway 2) Troy Stecher 3) Louie Nanne
Friday wrapped-up the Vees regular season series with the Silverbacks, as they finished with a 5-1-0-1 record against Salmon Arm. The win pushes their record against their own division to 20-7-0-1. Their home win bumps that record to 18-6-0-1. With his pair of goals Friday, Jedd Soleway has four goals in his last two games and six in the last four.
The Vees hit the road Saturday, as the make a stop in Merritt to face the Centennials in a showdown of the two top teams in the Interior Division; puck-drop is 7:30pm. The Vees are back at home Sunday afternoon, when they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals in a non-conference matinee; face-off is 5pm. Tickets for Sunday’s contest are available at the Valley First box office at the SOEC, or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com