WENATCHEE, WSH-The Penticton Vees will have something to declare at the border crossing in Osoyoos: Two points. The Vees went across the border Saturday and are coming home with a win after edging the Wenatchee Wild 3-2, at the Toyota Town Center.
Owen Sillinger scored what turned out to be the game-winner late in the second period and Anthony Brodeur kicked-out 38-shots, as the Vees held off a desperate Wild team, for their fifth straight win. Scott Conway and Tyson Jost also scored in the win, as the Vees won for the eighth time in nine games in January.
Austin Chavez and Charlie Combs scored for Wenatachee who lost their third straight and second in a row at home. Chase Perry started in net for the home side but was yanked in the second after allowing three goals on 15 shots.
It was a frenzied crowd of over 3,900 in Wenatchee but Conway hushed the rink early, as he opened the scoring 68-seconds into the game. Conway stripped the puck away from a Wild defender at their blue-line, before breaking in alone and roofing his 44th glove-side.
The Vees thought they had doubled their lead in the dying moments of the first, when Jost forced the puck over the goal-line after a scramble in the crease. However, the referee deemed the time had expired before the puck crossed the line; a tough pill to swallow for the visitors.
Brodeur was a major factor in why the Vees carried a lead into the intermission, the veteran puck-stopper made several clutch saves in the opening 20-minutes; he stopped all 15 he faced in the frame.
The Vees got some puck luck early in the second as they doubled their lead four-minutes in. It was a case of follow the bouncing puck, as Colton Poolman’s point-shot rattled off the end-boards, bounced back out front and was last touched by Jost before banking in; the Captain eventually was credited with his 29th at 4:10.
The Wild got the capacity crowd on their feet shortly after the Vees second goal, as they had some luck from the point. Austin Chavez fired a wrist-shot from the line that had enough English on it to get throw the arm of Brodeur and just over the goal-line at 6:55.
The score remained unchanged until late in the middle stanza, when Sillinger scored a highlight reel goal off the rush. With less than five-minutes left in the period, Sillinger went wide down the left-wing, got behind the defenseman and cut into the middle. As he broke to goal, Sillinger was chopped down to his knees but still managed to slide the puck onto his backhand, before going over the goalie’s glove at 15:09; Sillinger scoring his 13th and third in two nights.
Wenatchee chipped away in the third, scoring early to get back within one again. After the puck was turned over along the wall, Charlie Combs was hit with a pass in the middle and he beat Brodeur low at 2:30.
The Vees held onto the 3-2 lead through the final 17 and a half minutes, despite steady pressure from the home team. Penticton was saved by a post late when August Von Ungern rattled the pipe on an odd-man rush.
Final Score: 3-2 Vees
Shots: 40-25 Wenatchee
Power-Plays: Vees 0-3 Wenatchee 0-3
Three Stars: 1) Owen Sillinger 2) Anthony Brodeur 3) Colton Poolman
After Saturday’s two point performance, Sillinger now has six goals and 17 points in just nine games in January. Brodeur has still not lost this season, as he improved his record to 24-0-1-0. The Vees are now 11-1 against the Mainland Division and 17-4 on the road.
The Vees (39-5-1-0) look for their sixth straight win on Wednesday when they travel over to Merritt to face the Centennials at Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Fans can listen to the game on EZ Rock AM 800, or they can watch online, at www.fasthockey.com