The Penticton Vees used a goal and an assist effort from Colton Kalezic and 25 saves from Carl Stankowski to help them to a 4-1 victory over the Wenatchee Wild on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Vees started the game with a terrific jump and with lots of zone time in the offensive end before earning the game’s opening goal while shorthanded as Colton Kalezic put his team on the scoreboard first with his 13th goal of the season.
Kalezic followed the puck inside the Wenatchee zone as a defender went back to retrieve a loose puck on the man advantage before Kalezic stole the puck away in the slot and let a shot go from the top of crease that beat Wild netminder Daniel Chenard through the blocker side at the 9:23 mark of the opening period that pushed the Vees ahead by a 1-0 margin.
Penticton continued to press in the Wenatchee end while Carl Stankowski wasn’t tested much in his goal at the Vees end of the ice but played well in the crease, making saves on each of the 5 shots he faced in the period before Danny Weight found the back of the net late in the opening 20 minutes.
Liam Malmquist got a pass from below the goal line and put a shot on goal that Chenard was able to fight off before a scramble ensued with the rebound spilling to Weight at the bottom of the left face-off circle as he beat a fallen Chenard on the blocker side for his team-leading 25th marker of the season and a 2-0 Vees advantage with just 16 seconds remaining in the period.
The Wild cut the deficit in half despite Penticton owning the shots on goal category in the 2nd period as a deflection past Stankowski pushed the score to 2-1. Jerrett Overland put a shot to the goal from the right point was redirected in front of the net by affiliate forward Owen Bohn and past the glove side of Stankowski for his first BCHL goal at the 4:05 mark of the middle stanza.
Matt Dorsey came inches away from tying the game as he let a wrist shot go from the right face-off circle that went off the cross bar on the glove side of Stankowski before the Vees pushed the pace the other way, outshooting Wenatchee by a 15-8 margin in the frame.
Malmquist had a pair of good looks in the period, being denying by Chenard on a chance in front of the net after a pass from the blue line off the stick of Carson Kosobud before driving down the right wing and putting a backhand shot on goal that was stopped by the Wenatchee goaltender.
Nico Somerville came close to restoring the Vees two-goal lead late in the frame as he walked into the left face-off circle but fired a shot off the glove side post to keep the game in Penticton’s favour at 2-1 heading into the 3rd period.
The Wild looked to even the score with some pressure in the early part of the final period, including an early power play, but Stankowski and the Vees stood tall before Penticton extended their lead to two goals once again on a Tyler Ho marker.
Kalezic started the play, taking the puck out of the left-wing corner and centered a pass from below the goal line as Ho collected in the face-off circle and snapped a shot over the glove shoulder of Chenard for his 13th goal of the season at the 6:50 mark of the 3rd period to push the Vees ahead by a 3-1 margin.
Darwin Lakoduk capped off the scoring in the game at the 16:46 mark after a nifty pass from Lukas Sillinger, who snuck around a defender on the right-wing and passed from the goal line with Lakoduk banging in the loose puck for his 11th goal of the season and a 4-1 Vees lead, which stood up as the eventual final score.
Carl Stankowski was solid in making 24 saves on 25 shots in his 13th victory of the season between the pipes for Penticton while Daniel Chenard turned aside 29 of the 33 shots he faced in his 16th loss of the season.