Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (15-5-1-2) have won six games in a row after Friday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, and now welcome the Chilliwack Chiefs (13-12-2-2) who have dropped five of their last six games.
Last night, Owen Sillinger scored 42 seconds into overtime as the Vees rebounded from a late tying goal from Salmon Arm to win their sixth-straight game.
Nicky Leivermann and Massimo Rizzo scored in regulation while Nolan Hildebrand finished with 30 saves on the night, setting a new career high with his seventh win of the year. His biggest stop of the night came in the second period, denying Grayson Constable on a penalty shot with the game 1-0 Penticton.
The Chiefs were in Wenatchee last night, dropping a 4-2 game. Chilliwack battled back to cut it down to a 3-2 Wild lead early in the third period, but Wenatchee hit the empty with with a second left in regulation to seal the game.
The loss was Chilliwack’s fifth in their last six games with the lone victory coming last Sunday, 8-2 over the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
Penticton and Chilliwack have met once already this season; the second game of the BCHL Showcase in which the Vees were the home team at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack.
Hildebrand got the start in that game and finished with 25 saves in the 6-3 Vees win. Chilliwack had a 2-1 lead after the opening 20 minutes that night with Chris Klack scoring for the Vees before an offensive explosion in the second.
Over a four and a half minute stretch, Cassidy Bowes, Leivermann, Jared Nash and Rizzo all scored to give Penticton a 5-2 lead through two periods. Sillinger rounded out the scoring for the Vees in the third period.
The playoff rivals from last season will end their season series January 13 in Chilliwack.
Despite meeting in the Fred Page Cup final just a few short months ago, there are only four players on the Chiefs roster who played in that gruelling seven-game series. Penticton has 10 players remaining from last years championship.