The Penticton Vees won their seventh consecutive game, scoring four first period goals to lead them to a 7-1 win over the Vernon Vipers.
After just over a week off, the Vees came out of the gate flying, quickly grabbing the games first goal under two minutes into the hockey game as Lukas Sillinger got the scoring going. The Vees forward moved into the right face-off circle and snapped a shot over the glove side of Vipers goaltender Reilly Herbst for his 17th goal of the season.
Penticton continued to pour on the pressure, taking a 2-0 lead at the 4:24 mark of the opening frame. Liam Malmquist intercepted a pass inside the blue line and cut to the slot before sending a pass into the right face-off circle where Danny Weight fired it past Herbst’s glove for his team-leading 23rd tally.
Only 49 seconds later Tyler Ho extended the Vees lead to 3-0 and chased Herbst out of the Vipers net. Ho made his way down the right wing where he snapped a shot high-glove side for his 12th goal of the season.
Colton Kalezic finished off a scoring stretch of four goals in the opening ten minutes of play, capitalizing on an odd-man rush with Ho. Kalezic took a pass in the slot from the left face-off circle off the stick of Ho as he went from his forehand to his backhand and past Vipers new goaltender Keegan Karki on the blocker side for his 12th tally of the season.
The Vees didn’t let up in the second period. Just 1:39 into the period, Ethan Martini found the back of net for the first time this season to increase the lead to 5-0. David Silye made a toe-drag move around a defender and fed Martini in the left face-off circle as the Vees rearguard moved to the net and beat Karki on the blocker side.
Sillinger found the back of the net for the second time in the game, collecting his 18th goal of the season at the 11:34 mark with a terrific individual effort. The Vees forward corralled the puck on the left wing, making a move to get around a Vernon defender and slipped by for a shot from the bottom of the right face-off circle over-top of the glove shoulder of Karki to push the Vees lead to 6-0.
Malmquist closed out the scoring in the game for Penticton, at the 12:54 mark if the second as he fired a shot from the high slot through traffic and through the legs of Karki for his 16th goal of the season and a 7-0 Penticton advantage.
Vernon broke the shutout bid under a minute later at the 13:41 mark as Matt Kowalski took a pass off the stick of Logan Cash from below the goal line and beat Vees goaltender Yaniv Perets over the glove shoulder in the top corner of the net to make it a 7-1 game.
Perets made a pair of big saves in the 3rd period, denying Hunter Donohoe with the glove and stopping a partial break from Keigo Hachisuka to conclude the game with 23 saves on 24 shots in his 22nd victory on the year.
The Vees continue their nine game regular season ending home-stand Wednesday, Feb. 5 against the Surrey Eagles. Puck drop at the South Okanagan Events Centre is at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at the Valley First Box Office or at ValleyFirstTix.com.
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