After missing Wednesday’s game in Trail, Scheel returned to the net making 23 saves on Friday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Much like Wednesday, the Vees controlled the majority of the opening period as the Smoke Eaters began a parade to the penalty box. After a four-on-three power play turned into a five-on-three, Wyatt Sloboshan opened the scoring with a one timer from the right circle.
Less than three minutes later, on another power play, Massimo Rizzo found Cassidy Bowes in left face-off circle. Bowes had room to skate in before firing a wrist shot past Adam Marcoux for his 12th of the year. The Vees outshot Trail 14-7 in the first and carried a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
The second period saw no goals for either team, but plenty of chances for both. The best of the Vees chances may have been Ryan Sandelin bulldozing his way down the left wing, cutting in front of the goal before being robbed by the left leg of Marcoux.
The Vees had three more power-play chances in the second, but could not find the back of the net until the third period. A short two-on-one rush saw Owen Sillinger with the puck on the right wing while Jonny Tychonick went to the front of the goal. Sillinger tried to cut to the middle, was knocked down but managed to slide the puck to Tychonick who pulled the puck to his backhand and slid it past Marcoux 1:19 into the final frame.
The Smoke Eaters had trouble generating offence over the final 20 minutes, recording just six shots on net. Scheel put the exclamation point on his shutout, reaching out to his left to snare a hard shot from the right circle with under a minute to play.
The win keeps the Vees (35-10-2-3) in first place in the BCHL standings, two points up on the Vernon Vipers (34-13-1-4) who the Vees welcome to the South Okanagan Events Centre Saturday night at 6 p.m.