The Penticton Vees used a multi-point effort from Liam Malmquist and a sound defensive game to help them ring in the New Year with a 3-1 victory over the Vernon Vipers at Kal Tire Place on Wednesday afternoon.
A good pace to the New Year’s matinee saw the first whistle of the game come just over four minutes into action with the Vees earning the game’s first power play and came inches away from opening the scoring. David Silye took a pass at the top of the right face-off circle and rang the post with a shot on the blocker side of Vipers goaltender James Porter Jr. to keep the game scoreless.
It didn’t remain that way for long as Penticton scored their first goal of the year 2020 off the stick of Tristan Amonte, who tallied his 10th marker of the campaign. Lukas Sillinger spotted Amonte off the bench with a left-wing corner pass to the slot where the Vees forward collected and snapped a shot past the blocker side of Porter at the 11:30 mark to push the Vees ahead by a 1-0 score.
Just over two minutes later, the Vipers evened the score on a slap shot from the right point. Logan Cash pushed the puck up the boards on the right side with Christian Felton walking into a shot that deflected off a body before finding its way past the blocker side of Vees netminder Carl Stankowski to tie the game at 1-1 at the 13:39 mark of the opening period.
Penticton came out of the intermission with another strong jump in the 2nd period and regained their lead at the 3:24 mark of the middle stanza. Affiliate defenseman Joshua Niedermayer held the puck in at the left point as Darwin Lakoduk was able to swing the puck behind the net where Danny Weight touched a pass in front for Liam Malmquist, who buried his 12th goal of the season past the glove side of Porter and catapult the Vees ahead by a 2-1 score.
Malmquist was in on the scoring again just over two minutes later at the 5:51 mark as he set up Evan McIntyre to give Penticton their first two-goal lead of the game. Carson Kosobud made a strong play to hold the puck in at the left point and bumped a pass along the boards where Malmquist spun a pass to the right point. McIntyre collected the puck and bombed a shot past the blocker side of Porter for his 6th goal of the season and gave the Vees a 3-1 lead in the 2nd period.
The Vees surrendered just five shots against in the 3rd period as they did not give up much inside the defensive zone with Carl Stankowski standing tall in the Vees crease while Penticton killed off a penalty in the final frame to remain perfect in that category in the game and finish off a 3-1 victory.
Stankowski turned aside 20 of the 21 shots thrown his way in his 6th victory of the season between the pipes for the Vees while James Porter Jr. stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced in his 6th loss of the season for the Vipers.
FINAL SCORE: 3-1 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 27-21 Vees
VEES PP: 0/3
VEES PK: 4/4
1) Tristan Amonte (1-0-1)
2) Christian Felton (1-0-1)
3) Evan McIntyre (1-0-1)
he Vees (28-10-1-1) make their final trip of the regular season to the Shuswap as they face-off against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (21-15-1-1) on Friday night from the Shaw Centre. The game will be broadcasted live on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as HockeyTV.com beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.
Penticton is back in action on home ice for the first time in 2020 on Saturday night as they play host to the Victoria Grizzlies at the South Okanagan Events Centre.