The Penticton Vees find themselves in an unfamiliar position, on the brink of a first-round playoff exit, and now must fight to keep their season alive in game five of the Interior Division quarterfinals against the Cowichan Valley Capitals Saturday night.
Wednesday the Vees were hoping to rebound from a 3-2 overtime loss in game three, but couldn’t muster much success as they were shutout for the first time this season.
After the Vees controlled the majority of the opening seven minutes, a bouncing puck led to the Capitals opening goal as Paul Selleck took a bank pass and came in alone on Jack LaFontaine, sliding the puck through the five hole to open the scoring.
Perhaps the Vees best scoring chance of the game came seconds before the Capitals second goal. Lukas Sillinger was robbed on a one timer from the slot before the puck was worked back to the blue line.
Sillinger tried to make a move around the pressuring Capitals player but was poke checked and the puck came to centre. The last Penticton defenceman fell down allowing Cowichan to come in on a 2-on-0 rush and Preston Brodziak made no mistake giving the Capitals a 2-0 lead after two.
It was more of the same in the third period as the Vees had plenty of zone time but couldn’t find a way to solve Pierce Diamond who made 27 saves for the shutout, pushing the Vees to the brink of elimination.
Games three and four marked just the fourth time this season the Vees have lost back-to-back games.
Penticton now looks to rally in front of their home crowd and force a game six which would be Monday at the Island Savings Centre.
Puck drop is 6:00.