PENTICTON, BC-Low on bodies and in the end, low on energy, the Penticton Vees earned a hard-fought point Saturday against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, in a 4-4 tie at the SOEC.
The Vees dressed just 10 forwards and had just 15 regulars in their line-up, as six Vees were out due to injury or international duty. Saturday is the first tie for the Vees since December 14th, 2014 and that also came at the SOEC.
Ben Brar, Scott Conway, Nicholas Jones and Colton Poolman scored for the Vees, who are now undefeated in 21 consecutive regular season home games dating back to last season. Anthony Brodeur kicked out 34 of 38 shots, as he still hasn’t suffered a loss in 17 starts.
Quinn Syrdydiuk scored twice for the Bulldogs and they got singles from Nathan Dingmann and Josh Adkins; Saturday was their eighth straight road game.
Ben Brar opened the scoring in the first and against the run of play, as he buried his own rebound from the right-wing at 12:29; Brar scoring his first goal in 16-games and on just the Vees third shot.
Alberni Valley tied it up late and it wasn’t in a conventional manner either. Syrdydiuk, from the goal-line, found an opening between the post and Brodeur’s pad, banking it in at 18:34.
Penticton grabbed the lead back early in the second and it was milestone goal for one Vees defenseman. Nicholas Jones’ centering pass for Colton Poolman ended up going off the defenseman’s leg and past Carson Schamerhorn at 1:36; Poolman scoring his first goal as a Vees and first career goal in 87 games between the USHL and Penticton.
The Bulldogs had an answer for that goal too however, as Dingmann tied the game and with some help from the linesman. As Sam Jones was going back for the puck at his blue-line, he and got tangled with the linesman, which allowed Dingmann to break free. The Bulldogs forward was stopped on the initial shot but buried his own rebound at 8:03.
Penticton’s power-play then flexed its muscles in the third, as they scored back-to-back power-play goals 77-seconds apart. First, Nicholas Jones shoveled in a rebound in the crease at6:53 to make it 3-2, and then Conway did the same at 8:10 to put the Vees up by a pair. Jones scoring his eighth and Conway took over the team scoring lead with his 25th.
The Bulldogs didn’t wilt and used a power-play of their own to cut into the deficit. Syrdydiuk made it a one-goal game at 11:16 when he flipped in his own rebound, as he was falling, for his second of the game.
Then with under two-minutes left, Alberni Valley’s top-line manufactured an equalizer. Scott Clark dug the puck out of the corner and quickly fired a pass in the middle for Josh Adkins, who snapped the puck through Brodeur’s legs at 18:14.
In the first overtime period, the best chance went to Scott Conway who was awarded a penalty-shot after being hauled down from behind. However, the Vees forwards had his attempt just miss on the blocker-side.
The Vees best chance in double-overtime came in the dying moments, as Easton Brodzinski broke to the net, cut to his fore-hand but the goalie reached out with the poke-check at the last second to persevere the tie.
Final Score: 4-4
Shots: 38-25 Alberni Valley
Power-Play: Vees 2-5 Alberni Valley 1-3
Three Stars: 1) Colton Poolman 2) Quinn Syrdydiuk 3) Nicholas Jones
The Vees run of 20 consecutive regular season home wins comes to an end with the draw; that streak dated back to February 13th of last season. The Vees tied two games last year and coincidentally enough, both those came in December as well. Scott Conway did extend his point streak to a league-best 28 games with his goal; Nicholas Jones has points in 5 straight. The Vees finish their five-game home stand with a 4-0-1-0 record.
The Vees (28-2-1-0) are now off until next Friday, December 11th, when they travel up to the North Okanagan to face the Salmon Arm Silverbacks; face-off is 7pm.