The perfect season is over.
The Penticton Vees threw 42 shots on goal but Trail Smoke Eaters goaltender Logan Terness made 40 saves as the Vees fell for the first time in the 2021 season by a 3-2 score on Wednesday (April 14) night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Vees now own a 6-1-0 record in their abbreviated pod season. Meanwhile, the Smoke Eaters improved to 3-4-0.
After a day off, both teams showed plenty of energy throughout the first period.
The Smoke Eaters struck quick as forward Quinn Disher fired home a wrist shot to give Trail the 1-0 lead just under a minute and a half into the game.
The Smoke Eaters stayed hungry in the second period and eventually doubled their lead off a goal from Ryan Helliwell. Helliwell gathered a loose puck in the left face-off circle ans snapped a shot past the glove of Vees goaltender Kaeden Lane to give Trail a 2-0 lead halfway through the second period.
The Vees pressed hard through two periods, firing 25 shots at the Trail net but goaltender Terness stood tall, holding his team’s 2-0 lead heading into the third.
Penticton finally broke thorough Terness to get within a goal after starting the third period on a 5-on-3 power-play where Vees sophomore Liam Malmquist finished off a cross-ice pass from Philippe Chapleau for his second goal of the year.
Penticton continued to throw as much as they could at the Smoke Eaters net but Terness was a brick wall, turning aside 12 of 14 shots thrown his way in the period.
An empty net goal from Trail forward Brady Hunter appeared to have iced the game, giving the Smoke Eaters a 3-1 lead with a minute and a half to play.
However, the Vees would make things interesting when Ryan McGuire put home his fourth of the season to bring the Vees back within a goal with less than a minute to play.
But the Vees could not find the back of the net in the final moments and dropped their first game of the 2021 season. Vees goalie Kaeden Lane stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced in his first loss of the season.
At the other end of the rink, Logan Terness was outstanding in the Smoke Eaters crease, turning aside 40 of the 42 shots he faced in his third win of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 Smoke Eaters
SHOTS ON GOAL: 42-26 Vees
1) Logan Terness (40 saves on 42 shots)
2) Liam Malmquist (1-0-1)
3) Justin Ross (0-2-2)
The Vees (6-1-0-0) return to action tonight with another back-to-back battle as they face-off against the Cranbrook Bucks (1-5-0-0) at 7 p.m. at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The game will be broadcasted live on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as on HockeyTV.com beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 p.m. with the voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.