Penticton Vees goalie Adam Scheel gets his stick on the puck to make the save as the Surrey Eagles forwards crash the net in a December game at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The Vees were in Surrey on Sunday, Feb. 18 and won 5-3. Western News file photo

Penticton Vees defeat Surrey Eagles to hold on to first place in BCHL

The Penticton Vees (38-12-2-3) scored twice in the opening three minutes of the third period

The Penticton Vees (38-12-2-3) scored twice in the opening three minutes of the third period en route to a 5-3 win over the Surrey Eagles (25-22-6-2) Sunday night, remaining in first place in the BCHL standings.

The Eagles opened the scoring as Jeff Stewart used Jordan Henderson as a screen, shooting the puck through the legs of a Vees defender and beating Adam Scheel glove side just over halfway through the opening period.

Related: Jordan Henderson fitting in nicely with Penticton Vees

Chris Klack tied the game with 4:32 left in the period after a shot from the blue line was deflected on goal. Mario Cavaliere made the first save, but couldn’t stop Klack on the rebound who scored his first goal in nine games.

Related: Vees forward Black clicking with new linemates

The Vees jumped out of the gate in the middle frame, and Klack scored his second of the game just 37 seconds in. After taking a feed from Wyatt Sloboshan, Klack skated out from the goal line, cut across the crease and slid the puck past Cavaliere to give the Vees the lead.

Related: Familiar faces join Penticton Vees lineup

The Eagles evened the game off a face-off as Brandon Winslow let a wrist shot go through traffic that beat a screened Scheel 6:39 into the period.

Before the period came to an end the Eagles regained the lead. A shot came on on Scheel and he tried to reach out and pull the puck into him with his stick. He was only able to get a piece of it, and bodies converged to net before Stewart was able to shovel home his second of the game with 3:07 left in the period.

Related: Penticton Vees goalie duo packs a punch

Henderson was then called for tripping with under two minutes to play, so the Eagles began the third period on the power play. In the dying seconds of the penalty, Owen Sillinger skated through centre, made a move to get around an Eagles defender and fired the puck on goal from the bottom of the right circle. The shot snuck under the arm of Cavaliere for Sillinger’s fourth shorthanded goal of the season, tying the game just 28 seconds into the third period.

Two and a half minutes later, Michael Campoli took a shot from the slot that went off the glove of Cavaliere and high into the air. The Eagles goalie didn’t know where the puck was, and it dropped down behind him and went into the net to give the Vees the lead.

Related: Campoli back on track in Penticton Vees uniform

Surrey pressured the Vees heavily over the final few minutes, hemming them in the defensive zone and making a full line change while on the attack. Scheel held the fort until Dakota Boutin hit the empty net to seal the 5-3 win.

The Vees now get set to face the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (23-26-3-1) for the final road game of the year on Wednesday. The game signals a difficult stretch for the Silverbacks, as their cancelled game from Saturday has been rescheduled for Thursday, meaning Salmon Arm plays a game every day from Wednesday through Sunday to finish off the regular season.

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