The Penticton Vees come-from-behind effort fell just short as they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Wenatchee Wild on Wednesday night at the Town Toyota Center.
For the third straight game, the Vees were first to hit the scoreboard courtesy of Colton Kalezic in the opening five minutes of play. Tyler Ho spun and fired a puck to the goal from the top of the left face-off circle with the rebound popping off the left pad of Wild netminder Daniel Chenard and Kalezic burying his 11th goal of the season to give Penticton a 1-0 lead at the 4:19 mark of the opening period.
The Wild came out with a big effort in the 2nd period and got the game on even terms just 1:55 into the middle stanza. A clearing attempt on the penalty kill for the Vees was knocked down as Brett Chorske made his way to the front of the net, going to his backhand and tucking the puck past the blocker side of Vees goaltender Yaniv Perets to tie the game 1-1.
Wenatchee took their first lead of the game at the 3:17 mark of the middle frame as Harrison Scott found the back of the net to give the home side a 2-1 advantage. Scott was able to finish off a scramble in front of the net with the puck coming off of the stick of Matt Dorsey before Scott found the back of the net for the Wild’s one-goal lead.
Dorsey doubled the Wenatchee lead at the 11:13 mark of the middle period on a breakaway. The Vees had some sustained time inside of the offensive zone but couldn’t capitalize, which led to a pass from Scott in his own zone that spotted Dorsey at the Vees blue line as he got behind the defence and deked to his backhand to beat Perets on the blocker side to give the Wild a 3-1 advantage.
The Vees battled back and got the game to within a goal in their comeback effort in the 3rd period. A nice passing play saw Jay O’Brien got the puck ahead for David Silye in the left face-off circle as the Vees captain centered a pass for Darwin Lakoduk, going hard to the net as he shoveled in his 7th goal of the season at the 3:04 mark of the final frame to cut the deficit in half and make it a 3-2 game.
The Wild were quick to respond, however, with Nicholas Chmelevski regained a two-goal Wenatchee advantage. Chorske worked his way down the left-wing side as he cut to the net from the goal line with Perets making an initial save before Chmelevski shot from the slot and past Perets for the 4-2 lead at the 4:38 mark.
Penticton continued to press in the final period with Chenard keeping the lead at two goals before a Vees power play with just over 5 minutes left brought the game to within a marker. Jackson Niedermayer threw a puck from the left face-off circle that went off a Wenatchee defender and deflected into the net, past the glove side of Chenard for his 7th goal of the season and a 4-3 game.
The Vees pulled their goaltender for a 6-on-5 attack and were inches away from knotting the game up as Silye had a look from the left face-off circle that went off the glove side post as the comeback bid feel just short in a 4-3 defeat to the Wild.
Yaniv Perets stopped 22 of the 26 shots thrown his way in his 6th defeat of the season while Daniel Chenard turned aside 29 of the 32 shots he faced in his 11th victory of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Wild
SHOTS ON GOAL: 32-26 Vees
VEES PP: 1/6
VEES PK: 4/5
1) Matt Dorsey (1-1-2)
2) Brett Chorske (1-1-2)
3) Daniel Chenard (29 saves on 32 shots)