Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (9-1-0-1) quickly got back in the win column Friday night with a 4-2 come-from-behind win over the Merritt Centennials. Tonight, the Vees hit the road for the first of six meetings with their newest division rival, the Wenatchee Wild (8-5-1-0).
Yesterday the Vees were trailing 1-0 after 40 minutes for the second consecutive game. Unlike Wednesday night against Langley, the Vees found their offence in the third as they scored four goals en route to the win.
First it was a shorthanded goal by Grant Cruikshank on a 2-on-0 rush, but Merritt answered back on the same power play to regain their lead a minute later. Less than a minute after the Centennials goal, Massimo Rizzo put home his own rebound after a great rush by Jonny Tychonick to tie the game again.
Ryan Sandelin ended a nine-game goal drought by firing home his second of the year from the left circle at the five minute mark of the period to give the Vees their first lead of the game. Dakota Boutin added an empty netter to round out the scoring while Nolan Hildebrand made 18 saves to improve to 4-0 on the year.
The Wild were also in action last night, AJ Vanderbeck and August Von Ungern both scored twice as they routed the Surrey Eagles by a score of 8-4 at the Town Toyota Centre. The win snapped a short two-game slide for the Wild.
While the Wild no longer have the leading point getter and goal scorer in the BCHL from last season, their offence still appears to be a strong point with 56 goals through 14 games, third in the league. Defenceman Cooper Zech currently leads the team in scoring with 18 points while returning forward Jasper Weatherby is right behind with 17.
Last season the two teams met just twice with Wenatchee being in the Mainland Division. October 29 the Wild skated away with a 4-1 at home, before the Vees rebounded with a 2-0 shutout February 11.