Nicky Leivermann watches this flying bear clear the glass at the South Okanagan Events Centre after Taylor Ward scored the Penticton Vees first goal of the game against the Nanaimo Clippers Saturday. Mark Brett/Western News

Vees lose to Clippers at home

Penalties plagued Penticton Vees performance

Penticton Vees Jordan Henderson winds up in his own end to start a rush the other way in Saturday’s BC Hockey League game at the South Okanagan Events Centre Saturday. (Mark Brett/Western News)

It’s not often the Penticton Vees lose on home ice, but last night’s Teddy Bear Toss game, their last home game of 2017, was an exception.

Fans didn’t have to wait long to start covering the ice in stuffed animals though. Taylor Ward opened the scoring 4:14 into the game with a nice rush through the neutral zone before backhanding a shot over Taz Burman to send teddy bears raining down at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The Vees went into the opening intermission with a 1-0 lead, outshooting the Clippers 17-6.

But despite dominating the ice in the first, three power-play goals by the Nanaimo Clippers (18-12-3-2) over the next two periods sealed their fate in the 4-2 loss.

A penalty at the end of the first carried over for Nanaimo and Brady Lynn scored on a power play just 1:12 into the second to tie the game.

Max Crozier added a power-play goal of his own on a one-timer from the blue line that beat Adam Scheel through traffic to give the Clippers a 2-1 lead.

Luke Reid was called for tripping 5:12 into the third, and then got called for tripping again five seconds after exiting the penalty box allowing Nanaimo to pick up their third power-play goal as Lynn wired home a wrist shot from the slot on another tic-tac-toe play to make it 3-1 for the Clippers 8:14 into the third.

Dakota Boutin showed some nice hand-eye coordination by batting in a puck out of midair on the power play to make it a 3-1 game with three and a half minutes to go in the game.

With Scheel on the bench for the extra attacker, Parker Colley had three tries on the empty net before finally icing the game to make it 4-2 with 100 seconds left in regulation

The Vees head into the Christmas break on a three-game skid after Saturday’s loss. Jonny Tychonick will make his return to the lineup after winning gold with Canada West at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Truro, NS on Saturday.

The Vees will begin the second portion of the season with back to back games against the Wenatchee Wild at Town Toyota Centre December 29 and 30.

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