The Penticton Vees have rejoined the top teams in the country moving from fourth to third in the Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings.
The Vees kept their perfect home record intact and pushed their win streak to seven games in their 2-1 victory over the Victoria Grizzlies at the SOEC on Saturday. They also defeated rival Vernon Vipers 3-1 on the road on Friday.
The only two teams ranked higher in the country are the Portage Terriers, who are unbeaten this season, and the Notre Dame Hounds, who are unbeaten in regulation time but dropped an overtime loss this past week.
Liam Finlay scored the game-winner Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Grizzlies. His first career BCHL goal came late in the second period and the Vees came back from an early first period deficit, to keep their distance atop of the Interior Division.
Finlay was the last to touch the puck after a scramble ensued in the Grizzlies’ crease. Finlay managed to find the bouncing puck and poke it underneath the Grizzlies’ goalie at 18:37 of the second period.
Victoria opened the scoring back in the first period, as their power-play broke the goose-egg five-minutes in. The Vees used their first power-play of the game to tie things up five-minutes later. Demico Hannoun spotted Jost on the far side of the zone, and the 16-year-old forward muscled a one-timer past Sean Cleary at 10:18; Jost’s seventh on the season.
Hannoun pocketed a pair of goals to help the Penticton Vees ground his former team, the Vernon Vipers, 3-1.
Thomas Aldworth pulled Vernon within a goal late in the final period, but the Snakes were unable to bury the equalizer. Instead, Matt Serratore put the game away with a last-second empty netter.
The Vees travel to Prince George to face the Spruce Kings on Oct. 23. It will be the first time the teams have faced off this season.
The Spruce Kings are second place in the Mainland Division thanks to the scoring prowess of Justin Rai who is fourth overall in league leaders.
The Vees return back to the SOEC to face rival Vernon Vipers on Oct. 25 at 6 p.m.