As hard as he tried, Penticton Vees goalie Michael Garteig couldn’t squeeze his legs tight enough to keep the puck out.
As he looked back, the official was signaling the goal that Parker Johnson of the Wenatchee Wild potted. It proved to be the winner as the Wild defeated the Vees 3-2 in the South Okanagan Events Centre Thursday night.
Garteig made 29 saves on the night, while his counterpart Greg Lewis turned aside 20.
In the first exhibition action for the Vees, the home team got off to a good start as Ryan Reilly opened the scoring 2:03 into the game. Reilly intercepted an errant clearing attempt by a Wild defender and beat Lewis.
Ben Carey of the Wild tied it at one as the Vees failed to get the puck out of the zone. As the puck was put back into the Vees zone, it found the back of the net following a small scramble as the Vees desperately tried regaining possession.
In the second period Penticton brothers Chris and Nick Kerr would team up to give the Wild a lead, as Chris one-time a pass.
In the third period the two teams traded goals. Following Johnson’s winner, Mario Lucia gave the Vees life when he rocketed a shot on the left wing past Lewis at 16:32. Strong goaltending by Lewis preserved the 3-2 win for the Wild.
The Vees next exhibition action is today when they visit to Coquitlam to face the Express. Puck drop is 7 p.m.