The Penticton Vees completed a perfect preseason record as they earned a 6-3 victory over the Brooks Bandits on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Bandits opened the game strong and capitalized on an early power play to give the visitors a 1-0 lead 3:47 into the game. A shot from Taylor Makar from the top of the left face-off circle was stopped by Vees netminder Derek Krall as the rebound was potted in by Chris Pappas that gave the Bandits a 1-0 lead.
Penticton would ramp up the pressure on their end and drew a power play to get the game on even terms. Conner Hutchison had his point shot deflect off of David Silye in front of the net and bounce right to Liam Malmquist as he snapped a shot past the blocker side of Bandits goaltender Pierce Charleson at the 12:01 mark of the 1st period to knot the score at 1-1.
Another power play resulted in another goal for the Vees at the 15:50 mark of the opening frame that pushed Penticton to a 2-1 advantage. A bouncing puck from the right side was worked in front of the net as Jackson Niedermayer gathered and shot past the blocker side of Charleson for his 2nd goal of the preseason and a one-goal Vees lead heading into the 2nd period.
Featuring five goals, the middle stanza was a busy one for both sides. T.J. Hughes led off the period in scoring, with another power play marker, that tied the game. Hughes got the puck in the left face-off circle and found space between the legs of Krall to even the score at 2-2.
Brooks took their second lead of the game at the 6:29 mark of the 2nd frame as Pappas tallied his second goal of the contest. A rebound came in front of the net and Pappas slid the puck past Krall from the slot to give Brooks a 3-2 advantage before the Vees offence kicked into overdrive.
Vincent Nardone tied the game once again with a quick shot from the left face-off circle. Liam Malmquist freed the puck up in the slot as he passed off to the circle where Nardone sniped a shot over the glove side of Charleson for his 3rd goal of the exhibition season to even the score at 3-3 at the 7:14 mark of the middle stanza.
2:05 later, the Vees took a 4-3 lead on a great play off an end wall bounce from Evan McIntyre. Lukas Sillinger fired a shot wide to the blocker side of Charleson as the puck was centered from McIntyre back to the slot where Sillinger fired past the glove side for his 3rd goal of the preseason and a one-goal Vees lead at the 7:14 mark.
Penticton extended their lead to 5-3 under a minute after that as Jay O’Brien hit the scoresheet courtesy of another power play goal. Hutchison brought the puck back in on the right-wing side after it cleared to the neutral zone. Hutchison moved to the face-off circle and centered a pass for O’Brien as he banged in the loose puck for his 3rd goal of the preseason for a two-goal lead at the 10:12 mark.
The Vees clamped the game down in the 3rd period, with a total of 12 shots between the two sides and Krall stood tall in the Vees net. Lukas Sillinger added his second goal of the game into the empty net with 8 seconds left as Penticton capped off a perfect preseason record with a 6-3 victory.
The Vees will open their regular season with a trip to the West Kootenays to battle the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday, September 6th. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM at the Trail Memorial Centre.
The Vees home opener is slated for Friday, September 27th against the West Kelowna Warriors at the South Okanagan Events Centre.