SALMON ARM, BC –The Penticton Vees will look back to the second period as their undoing in their season opener Friday night in Salmon Arm. The Silverbacks scored three times in the middle stanza, as they downed the Vees 4-2 on the opening night of the BCHL regular season.
Elijiah Barriga scored twice for the home team, including a short-handed marker in the second and Angus Redmond earned first star honours, stopping 33 of 35 shots in the ‘Backs crease.
Easton Brodzinski was a bright spot for the Vees on an otherwise disappointing night, as he scored his first two BCHL goals. Brendan Barry started for the Vees, stopping 19 of 23 before being relieved by Anthony Brodeur to start the third period.
Despite a strong first period, the Vees went to the dressing room down 1-0, after Barriga put the Silverbacks ahead late. After a quick cycle down-low, Barriga beat starter Brendan Barry short-side from in close at 16:36.
Barriga then doubled Salmon Arm’s lead in the second, as he pounced on a Vees turnover. On the power-play, Penticton turned the puck over at the Salmon Arm blue-line. That allowed Nick Hutchinson to break the other way on a two-on-one rush with Barriga. The puck came over to Barriga and he buried it into the open net at 7:29.
Brodzinski got the Vees back into the game seven-minutes later on a solo rush. Seamus Donohue sprung Brodzinski on a partial break and the forward did a nice job of holding off the defenseman, before sliding the puck through Redmond’s legs at 14:03.
The momentum didn’t last long however, as the Silverbacks answered with a goal of their own 29-seconds later. Josh Laframboise threw the puck to the net and Josh Blanchard tipped it by Barry at 14:32.
Then Ross Heidt pushed the ‘Backs lead to three four-minutes later, late in the middle stanza. Heidt took a pass from behind the net and roofed it glove-high at 18:41.
Penticton needed a spark in the third and Brodzinski again provided a boost. As a Vees power-play was winding down, Brodzinski walked out of the corner and beat Redmond short-side post-and-in at 4:46, cutting the deficit to two.
However, the Vees couldn’t build upon their second goal, despite some pressure in the back-half of the third period.
FINAL SCORE: 4-2 Salmon Arm
Shots: 35-31 Penticton
Power-Plays: Vees 1-7 Salmon Arm 0-4
Three Stars: 1) Angus Redmond 2) Nick Hutchinson 3) Easton Brodzinski
The Vees look to bounce back on Wednesday, September 16th, when they host the Vernon Vipers in their London Drugs Home Opener; puck drop is 7 pm.