Penticton is now home to more than one first-place hockey team.
After an almost two-month break, the Penticton Silver Bullets men’s squad returned to the ice last weekend and captured a pair of victories against the Rossland Warriors on the road. The team owns a record of 5-1-0, ranking as the No. 1 team in the province’s Senior AA Independent Division.
A slow and rusty start on the ice didn’t stop Penticton from eventually improving its record in the Kootenays. The team rallied to erase a 5-1 deficit and later used an overtime winner from Keaghen Roberts to defeat their divisional rivals 8-7.
Less than 24 hours later, the Silver Bullets won again. Forward Daylan Robertson scored on the game’s first shift, propelling Penticton to a 5-0 victory.
The team — who reformed as an independent men’s team in October after a 28-year hiatus — plays in a division with the aforementioned Warriors and the Powel River Regals.
All three teams will each play a total of 12 regular season games before one is crowned the division’s representative in competing for the prestigious Coy Cup on Vancouver Island in March.
Penticton returns to Memorial Arena on Dec. 17 and 18 when they battle the Warriors once again.
“We love representing Penticton and know that the people who come watch us this weekend will make Memorial Arena a special place to be,” said Matthew Fraser, the team’s captain. “I’m a very nostalgic person and we want to give our Memorial Arena some more special nights like it deserves to have.”
The team last played at the arena in October, defeating the Regals twice in as many nights. It marked the Silver Bullets’ first set of games since 1994.
Penticton’s roster includes former NHLer Colton Gillies, who originally hails from White Rock. The forward played for both the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets from 2008 to 2013. It also features former Vancouver Canucks farmhand Jagger Dirk.
All games at Memorial Arena are free of admission. Action on Dec. 17 between Penticton and Powell River starts at 7 p.m., while the teams’ Dec. 18 showdown drops the puck at 3 p.m.
“The great fans of Penticton have had great hockey to watch with the Vees for many years, and now with the Silver Bullets, they have another opportunity to check out some great action,” Fraser added.