Noland Hildebrand made 25 saves to lead the Penticton Vees to a 4-2 win over the Merritt Centennials to kick off the B.C. Hockey League season on Sept. 8. Ian Webster/Merritt Herald

Allen sparks come from behind victory for Penticton Vees

Penticton Vees are now 3-0-0-0 to start the BCHL season

The Penticton Vees (3-0-0-0) were trailing 2-0 after one period against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (1-3-0-1) Friday night, but a goaltending change sparked the team to a 3-2, come-from-behind victory.

Nearly eight minutes into the first period the Bulldogs opened the scoring. Jackson Doucet was the recipient of a loose puck being chopped towards the front of the net and buried his first career BCHL goal into an open cage.

Inside the final 10 seconds of the period Alberni extended their lead. Michael Sacco, skating down the left wing in the Vees zone, fired a harmless looking shot on net that deflected off Nolan Hildebrand and into the net to make it 2-0 after one.

Adam Scheel came in goal to start the second, and the Vees went to work. While four on four, Jonny Tychonick showed some great puck control before spotting Ben Allen in the slot who rifled home his first BCHL goal to cut it to 2-1.

The score stayed the same, despite multiple power-play chances for both teams, into the third period. Another former Saskatchewan player tied the game up for the Vees. Jackson Keane carried the puck into the Alberni zone before spotting Dakota Boutin charging towards the net. Boutin took the pass, settled the puck and fired a wrist shot that snuck under Colten Lancaster’s blocker arm to tie the game less than four minutes into the third.

Allen would find the back of the net once again a few minutes later, thanks to another great set up from Keane. Carrying the puck down the right wing towards the net, Keane was chased down by Darren Rizzollo. While falling forward, Keane backhanded the puck to Allen at the left face-off circle and he wired a wrist shot into the top corner to give the Vees their first lead of the game.

Scheel would shut the door from there, stopping all 19 shots thrown his way over the final 40 minutes as the Vees picked up the 3-2 victory. Both teams finished 0 for 6 on the man advantage.

The Vees now turn their attention to the Chilliwack Chiefs who they will play tonight at 7:30 p.m. to wrap up their Showcase schedule in Chilliwack.

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