Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (10-2-1-1) got a pair of goals from Jared Nash and 31 saves from Nolan Hildebrand Friday night as they beat the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (6-7-1-2) 4-2.
After a slow opening 10 minutes which featured plenty of turnovers and sloppy play in the neutral zone, the game started to pick up. The Vees had two power play chances in the opening frame but the game was scoreless after 20 minutes.
It took until the 14 minute mark of the third period to find the games opening goal. Cassidy Bowers gathered the puck behind the Alberni net before skating out in front, spinning and firing the puck into the corner over John Hawthorne’s glove.
The lead didn’t last long, as three and a half minutes later Paul Selleck redirected a point shot past Hildebrand to tie the game at one after 40 minutes of play.
The majority of the action in the game happened in the third period, and it started with Alberni taking the lead. Cole Poliziani kicked the puck to himself in the slot before firing it past an outstretched Hildebrand less than three minutes into the final period.
The lead lasted 31 seconds as Jared Nash banked the puck off Hawthorne’s back from below the goal line and in for his third goal of the year to tie it up.
A little over a minute after that, Owen Sillinger took a snap shot coming down the left wing that snuck under the blocker arm of Hawthorne and just slid over the goal line to restore the Vees lead.
A few minutes after the goal, Bowes went for a big hit just beside the Alberni bench, and while he didn’t connect on the hit, he shattered the glass beside the bench which caused an 11-minute delay.
When play resumed, the pace of the game didn’t waver despite the long delay. Both teams continued to fire pucks on net, and Nash was able to add his second of the game off a great pass from Nicky Leivermann who was inside the left face-off circle.
The final shots were 36-33 Penticton as Hildebrand came up wth his biggest performance of the year, improving to 5-0 on season.
The Vees now hit the road for a long road trip to play the Trail Smoke Eaters (11-4-0-1) for the first time this season. The Smokies are coming off a 5-4 win in Merritt Friday night. Last season Penticton split their season series with Trail going 3-3, with two overtime wins at home.