There may not any “statement” wins in the pre-season, but this was as close as it gets for the Penticton Vees.
Captain David Silye scored his fourth goal in three exhibition games as the Vees defeated the defending RBC Cup national-champion Brooks Bandits 5-2 in a spirited contest Friday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Tristen Amonte, Lukas Sillinger, Vincent Nardone and Jackson Niedermayer also scored and Jay O’Brien had three assists for the second straight game for the Vees, who are now 5-0 in the pre-season.
Corson Ceulmans and Trey Thomas scored for the Alberta league’s Bandits, who lost for the first time in three exhibition games.
Yaniv Perets made 26 saves for the Vees and Pierce Charleson made 14 stops for the Bandits.
The teams will do it all over again Saturday at 6 p.m. at the SOEC in the pre-season finale for the Vees, who open the BCHL regular season next Friday in Trail.
The game, played in front of a good pre-season crowd, had some bite to it with plenty of hard hits, pushing and shoving after whistles and 36 minutes in penalties through the first two periods.
The teams traded goals in the first with Amonte putting the Vees ahead at 6:02 before Ceulmans tied it at 16:57.
In the second period, Thomas gave the Bandits their only lead of the night on the power play at 2:12, but the lead didn’t last long as Silye connected on a Vees man advantage from O’Brien and Sillinger at 3:14.
Sillinger put the Vees ahead to stay from Silye and Jack Barnes at 8:16.
Nardone upped the Vees lead to 4-2 from O’Brien and Ethan Martini 3:04 into the third period.
Niedermayer finished it off with an empty-net goal from O’Brien and Alex DiPaolo at 19:39.
Smoke Eaters 2 Warriors 1: Owen Ozar’s power play goal with 4:41 to go hoisted Trail to the win over visiting West Kelowna.
Hayden Gelbard gave the Warriors the lead in the first and Liam Freeborn tied it for Trail in the second. Trail outshot the Warriors 35-19.
The teams do battle again Saturday at 7 p.m. at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna.