The Penticton Vees suffered their second loss of the season as they fell to the Cranbrook Bucks in a scoreless shootout Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Both goalies were stellar throughout all 65 minutes of game action. Vees goalie Kaleb McEachern stopped all 21 shots he faced in regulation play and overtime to earn his first BC Hockey League shutout, while Bucks goalie Jay Thomson stopped all 22 pucks the Vees threw at him, also recording his shutout in the league.
The Vees held the Bucks to just one shot in the third period but couldn’t find the back of the net themselves, sending the game to overtime knotted at 0-0.
Both goalies remained perfect throughout the overtime period, forcing a shootout.
Jacob Quillan was the first shooter for the Vees, but was denied by the glove of Thomson.
Bucks first shooter Christian Lowe was next up and was able to get the first puck of the night into the back of a net as sniped a shot through the the five-hole of McEachern to give Cranbrook the 1-0 edge after the first round of shooters.
Liam Malmquist got the Vees back on level ground in shootout, snapping a shot past the glove side of Thomson.
But Bucks forward Walker Gelbard would score the eventual game winner next, as he beat McEachern with a shot over the glove hand.
Luc Wilson was the last shooter for the Vees as he attempted to extend the game but Thomson jetted out his left pad on a low shot to preserve the win for the Bucks as the Vees came away with a single point in the defeat.
It was a big win for the Bucks who have struggled in their inaugural BCHL season. Wednesday’s game saw them earn just their second win on the year, improving their record to 2-9-0-0.
Meanwhile the Vees sit comfortably atop the standings in the Penticton pod with a 9-1-1-0 record, nine points ahead of the second place trail Smoke Eaters in the three-team pod division.
FINAL SCORE: 1-0 Bucks (SO)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 22-21 Vees
1) Walker Gelbard (Shootout Winner)
2) Jay Thomson (22-save shutout)
3) Kaleb McEachern (20-save shutout)
The Vees (9-1-1-0) will return to action after a Thursday off in the Penticton pod as they meet the Trail Smoke Eaters (5-5-0-0) on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. with the game broadcasted live on EZ Rock AM 800, HockeyTV.com and Shaw Spotlight beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.