Jack Bar produced a goal and an assist while Yaniv Perets turned aside 28 of the 29 shots he faced as the Penticton Vees earned their sixth consecutive victory in a 4-1 defeat of the Vernon Vipers on Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.
Special teams played a big factor for the Vees in their victory on Wednesday night and once again was a strong advantage early in this game as a penalty just 24 seconds into the game for Vernon turned into a power play marker for the Vees, who jumped ahead early.
A fantastic passing play between Ben Wozney, who started the play at the blue line with his pass from the mid-point to the top of the left face-off circle where Luc Wilson spotted an open Jack Bar across the ice and hit him with a strong feed. Bar walked into the right face-off circle and threw the puck into the open goal, past the glove side of Vipers netminder Kobe Grant for his 2nd Okanagan Cup goal and gave the Vees an early 1-0 lead just 1:32 into the game.
The power play took advantage once again later in the period at the 6:12 mark coming off of a double minor penalty. Wozney started the play up at the top of the point before sending a pass for Bar on the right face-off circle as the defender made a move to create some space and fling a pass to the slot as Devlin O’Brien turned his stick and redirected his 4th Okanagan Cup goal past the blocker shoulder of Grant to push the Vees ahead by a 2-0 score.
Each of the teams has good finishes to the end of the period as the Vipers started to create a bit more chances inside of the offensive zone while the Vees concluded the period leading in shots by an 11-7 margin after the opening 20 minutes, with Vees goaltender Yaniv Perets turning aside each of the 7 shots he faced in the opening period.
Vernon opened the 2nd period with a good push of pressure and were able to cut their deficit in half with a big bounce off the end boards to help them to their first goal of the game. Nick Kent sent the puck off the back boards behind Perets as it jolted to the blocker side where Kjell Kjemhus banged home the loose puck at the 2:16 mark of the middle stanza to cut the Vees lead to 2-1.
Both teams threatened but not many notable chances came throughout the 2nd period. Liam Malmquist had a shot that squeaked through the blocker arm of Grant and fell at the crease before being pushed away from the net before Griffen Bar had Vernon’s best chance to equalize in the middle period.
Bar was sent on a breakaway from the offensive blue line as the defender looked to go from his forehand to his backhand before Perets slid across and made a big save with his right pad with just over 2:30 remaining in the period, one of his eight saves in the frame, to keep the Vees lead at 2-1 heading into the 3rd period of play.
The 3rd period saw the Vees control a bit of the play in the middle of the period before a power play for the Vipers came with just over five minutes remaining in the 3rd period. Vernon spent most of the power play inside the offensive zone but Perets and the Vees stood tall with a strong penalty killing shift before the Vipers pulled their goaltender and the Vees pushed ahead by a pair of goals.
Ryan McGuire stole a pass at the bottom of the zone and lifted a forehand shot off the glass and deep into the Vipers end, rolling it past the goal line into the empty goal for his 1st Okanagan Cup goal to give the Vees a 3-1 lead.
Luc Wilson added an empty netter of his at the 19:13 mark of the final period for his 3rd Okanagan Cup goal to give Penticton a 4-1 advantage, which held up as the final score. Yaniv Perets pushed aside 28 of the 29 shots he faced in his 4th victory of the Okanagan Cup while Kobe Grant stopped 25 of the 27 shots thrown his way in his 2nd loss of the tournament.
The Vees (6-0-0-0) return to the ice on Friday night as they begin another weekend home-and-home set against the West Kelowna Warriors (3-2-0-1) at Royal LePage Place. The game will be available with a FREE audio stream on mixlr.com/pentictonvees as well as live on pay-per-view at HockeyTV.com.