Penticton Vees defenceman Paul Stoykewych said a 2-1 loss to the West Kelowna Warriors Wednesday was tough.
A crowd of 2,370, including a few Warriors fans sprinkled in, watched as a late Vees push wasn’t enough to get a tying goal. After being outshot 14-3 in the first period, the Vees sent 11 shots at Andy Desautels in the third period, while Hunter Miska faced two.
“We kind of wasted half the game in the first period,” said Stoykewych.
Then as the Vees began to turn it up, bad timing hurt the Vees as Matt Serratore was sent off for tripping. On the ensuing power play, the Warriors scored the winner, which Stoykewych felt shouldn’t have counted.
“I still don’t think it went in,” said Stoykewych, on a play in which the Warriors kept jabbing at the puck in the crease. “I was right there on the post. I didn’t see it go across the line. It was right in front of me the whole time. I guess he (referee) saw something different.”
That goal, said Stoykewych, put the Vees in a hole they couldn’t get out of.
The Vees did get going offensively once Shane McColgan, making his debut since signing last weekend, stepped out of the penalty box after serving his 10-minute misconduct assessed at the end of the second period.
The Vees’ first best chance of the period went to captain Brad McClure who managed to create a breakaway for himself that started near the Warriors blueline. In alone on Desautels, McClure slid the puck behind him and fired from between his legs.
“Just kind of came to mind, didn’t think about doing it,” he said.
Later on Ben Dalpe was denied. Then at 13:57, the Vees got extra life when Stoykewych made a play at the Warriors blue line to fake out a defender before sending a booming snapshot that beat Desautels high.
“The guy blew past me and I kind of had a good lane,” said Stoykewych. “I just wanted to rip it on net. That was kind of what we were trying to do all night. Just trying to get pucks to the net. They were good at blocking shots tonight, we couldn’t really create a lot of offensive stuff. Just trying to throw it on net, crash the net, grab rebounds.”
The goal was credited to McClure, who got his stick on it late.
McClure didn’t have any answers as to why the Vees had a poor start, though he said they were pretty good in the last half.
“We can’t afford to have the start that we had,” he said. “I just think we needed to be a bit more willing to go to the dirty areas. I don’t think we were the first half.”
McColgan had some good shifts in which he took the body and created chances. One came in the second period when he broke through the Warriors defence, made a move, but then couldn’t put the final touches on it once he reached Desautels.
“I thought it was good first game for me,” said McColgan. “I’m still trying to get my legs under me. I thought I got some pucks on net.”
As for his 10 minute misconduct, McColgan said, “I just went to ask one of the refs a question … a simple question and he didn’t even let me finish my sentence and he kind of hit me with a 10.”
Stoykewych, who now has McColgan as a roommate, thought the newcomer was good.
“It’s going to take some time for him to fit in,” he said. “Get chemistry with a couple of the lines. He’s good, he’s quick. Great hands. He’s going to be a good part to the team. He’s not going to shy away from a little bump. You can tell he’s got a little edge to him which is good. That’s what you need out there.”
The Vees (27-10-2-3) will travel to Merritt Friday to take on the Centennials (21-17-3-1) before returning to the SOEC Saturday to host the Salmon Arm SilverBacks.
Saturday marks the annual School Spirit Competition Night, presented by Dairy Queen Penticton, in support of the Soupateria and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club. Tickets are $10 for adults and senior and $2 for children and students. A $1 from every adult and senior ticket and 50/50 proceeds are being donated to the Soupateria. Also, for every person in attendance, CIBC Wood Gundy will donate $1 to the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club.
For the School Spirit Competition, participating SD 67 schools will be competing for two $500 cash donations for their Parent Advisory Committees, courtesy of Underwriters Insurance. Winning schools will be competing for the highest game attendance and spirit. Dairy Queen is also giving away door prizes to the first 400 fans. The two winning schools will also receive redeemable vouchers, courtesy of Dairy Queen Penticton. The game starts at 6 p.m.