Even pulling their goalie late in the third didn’t give the Penticton Vees enough firepower to produce a tying goal against the Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday, ending the evening with a 3-2 loss at Prospera Place.
The game started off with some fast play and no whistles until after the Vees scored the first goal of the game at 8:05 into the first period.
Luke Loheit took a pass from Peter Muzyka and carried it down the left wing into the Chiefs’ zone. driving for the net and sliding the puck past Daniel Chenard for his eighth of the season.
The Vees went to the power play soon after the goal, but it was short-lived as Evan McIntyre took a slashing penalty just 16 seconds into the man advantage, putting the game 4-on-4 for 1:44.
Five seconds after 4-on-4 expired the Chiefs tied the game. Skylar Brind’a’mour forced a turnover in the neutral zone, stealing the puck away from Massimo Rizzo and turning around for a 2-on-1 rush. Brind’a’mour slid the puck into the slot for Cole Donhauser who beat Jack LaFontaine through the five-hole to tie the game.
James Miller was blocked by Chenard not long after stepping back into the ice after a penalty. Miller picked up a loose puck in front, cutting to the blocker side of Chenard, but the Chiefs goaltender reached back with the stick and took it away.
On their second power play in the first, Loheit lost the puck as he entered the Chilliwack zone Chiefs forward Kevin Wall got a clear-cut breakaway and beat LaFontaine with 50 seconds left in the period to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.
Chilliwack extended their lead with another power-play goal in the second. Brind’a’mour tried to hook the puck on net from the slot, but it bounced off the skate of Carson Kosobud and right to Wall who scored his second of the game.
Trailing 3-1 going into the third, the Vees started to mount some pressure in the Chiefs zone, eventually cutting into their lead. After Rizzo fired a puck down the slot, Jonathan Smart just missed converting on a backhand attempt.
Smart chased after the puck behind the net and slid it in front for Rizzo who was able to jam is past Chenard to make it 3-2.
Penticton continued to press, including Miller once again being robbed by Chenard as the late man coming down the slot, but even with LaFontaine out for the extra attacker, the Vees couldn’t tie the game, falling 3-2.
With the loss, the Vees fall six points back of Chilliwack for first overall in the BCHL, but still hold a six-point lead over the Merritt Centennials for first in the Interior Division following their shootout loss in Trail.
The Vees are back in action next weekend when they host the Vernon Vipers to kick off a home and home series.
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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