The Penticton Vees squeaked out a win versus Wenatchee Wild thanks to a third period goal by Ryan Sandelin. The Vees now face Chilliwack Chiefs on Feb. 2. Brennan Phillips/Western News

Penticton Vees pull out a win against Wenatchee Wild at the SOEC

Vees are set to take on the Chilliwack Chiefs on Feb. 2

The Penticton Vees added another notch to the win column on Feb. 1 against the Wenatchee Wild at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Part of this victory is owed to Ryan Sandelin, who made an impressive goal with 7:08 left in the game after a rough third period.

Massimo Rizzo first put the Vees on the board at 5:13 into the first when he was able to skate through centre ice, cutting down the right wing into the Wild zone. He shifted into the middle and fired a shot into the corner of the net over Austin Parker’s glove.

The Vees would go on to hold this 1-0 lead for the rest of the first period, outshooting Wenatchee 6-5.

Jonathon Smart was able to sneak the puck in under Park’s glove in the second thanks to a rebounded shot by Rizzo. This would make Smart’s first goal as a Penticton Vee.

The second period wasn’t over yet though, as Luke Loheit took an interference call with one minute to go. This gave Chad Sasaki the chance to score with 25 seconds remaining, cutting the Vees lead to 2-1.

Closing out the second, Eric Linell took a heavy hit along the boards which was not called by the officials. The crowd, already upset over Loheit’s penalty, booed the referees off the ice as intermission began.

It wouldn’t be until halfway through the third that the Vees would register another shot on the Wild net, and at that point the game stood 2-2 after Matt Gosiewski beat Jack LaFontaine on the glove side at 3:39.

This is when Sandelin would jump on the rebound of a shot by Evan McIntyre that was deflected by Mason Snell. The puck bounced off Park’s chest and rolled into the crease, where Sandelin was waiting to slide it into the net making his 25th goal of the season.

Wenatchee’s attempts to even the scoring by pulling their goalie proved a disadvantage when David Silye found the back of the empty net. This would make Penticton’s lead 4-2, the final game score.

The Penticton Vees are off to Chilliwack to face off against the Chiefs on Feb. 2. Winning this game may prove necessary if the Vees plan to finish first overall in the BCHL as the Chiefs currently sit four points ahead.

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