Ryan Sandelin scored three times and the Penticton Vees tallied two goals on special teams in the third period to down the West Kelowna Warriors 7-5 Wednesday night.
In front of 1,424 fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre, the Vees and Warriors found themselves tied at one after the first period. Cassidy Bowes opened the scoring for the Vees when he cut across the front of the net and slid the puck past Nik Amundrud just 2:25 into the period. Just three and a half minutes later, the Warriors evened the score after a scramble in front of the net led to Bennett Norlin jamming home the puck.
In the second, Sandelin would get his first by deflecting a long shot from the blue line by Nicky Leivermann through the legs of Amundrud. Nearly four minutes later, Sandelin added his second by cleaning up a rebound at the side of the net to make it 3-1. Less than two minutes later, Sandelin would complete the hat trick after intercepting a pass near the front of the Warriors net and jamming in his own rebound.
The Warriors wouldn’t go away, however. Jared Marino, Willie Reim and Nolin would all tally in the period to tie the score at four heading into the final period.
Just over a minute into the third, Chase Stevenson would give the Warriors their first lead when he cut across the Vees zone and fired the puck over Adam Scheel’s glove. Taylor Ward answered quickly for the home team, just 40 seconds later as his backhanded wraparound beat Billy Girard.
A little over the half way mark of the third, the Vees were given a five-on-three power play opportunity. While they couldn’t capitalize, Leivermann would let go a wrist shot from the blue line that beat a screened Girard to give the Vees the lead again.
Penticton received a little insurance just over a minute later. While shorthanded, Chris Klack did a wonderful job killing time on the power play by holding the puck in the corner of the Warriors zone. After drawing four defenders to him, the puck came free and ended up at the front of the net where Jackson Keane backhanded it over Girard’s glove to make it 7-5 Vees.
Next up for the Vees is two games in Brooks, Alta to finish off their pre-season schedule against the defending AJHL champion Brooks Bandits.