While the Penticton Vees have now won nine in a row after a pair of home-ice victories over the weekend that put them into first place overall in the B.C. Hockey League, their Okanagan rivals are scrapping for every point they can get.
The Vees dominated in both contests, including a 7-1 win Friday over the Cranbrook Bucks and a 5-3 win Saturday against the Wenatchee Wild.
With those points in hand, the Vees (17-2-0-0) are first overall in the BCHL standings based on winning percentage (0.895), which will be the deciding factor come playoff time due to schedule imbalances.
Brett Moravec scored twice – including just 1:41 into the match, launching a cavalcade of stuffed animals on what was Teddy Toss Night – while Brett Moravec, Jackson Nieuwendyk, Fin Williams, Josh Nadeau and Bradley Nadeau also tallied for the Vees in what was a lopsided affair against the Bucks (11-7-1-0).
The Wild (3-10-4-1) fared no better a night later, surrendering three goals in the first period en route to the 5-3 loss.
Moravec and Josh Nadeau both tallied again for the Vees, while Spencer Smith, Thomas Pichette and Frank Djurasevic rounded out the scoring.
Kaeden Lane back-stopped both wins for the Vees. His 13 victories are tops among all BCHL goalies.
Penticton returns to action Tuesday in Merritt against the Centennials (1-14-1-0), who won their first game of the season on Friday night with a 4-3 overtime victory over Wenatchee.
Salmon Arm 6, West Kelowna 2
Jayden Price drew first blood for the Warriors, but the lead held up for less than two minutes as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks pounded the host team on Friday night.
Felix Trudeau also scored for West Kelowna to knot the score at 2-2 after the opening frame, but it was all Salmon Arm from there.
Johnny Derrick turned aside 21 of 27 shots in the Warriors’ crease, while ‘Backs counterpart Owen Say stopped 43 of 45 pucks fired his way.
Salmon Arm 5, West Kelowna 2
The rematch, which took the form of a Sunday matinee, was more of the same, as the Silverbacks led 1-0 and 4-1 at the period breaks.
Carter Schmidt and Elan Bar-Lev-Wise tallied for the Warriors.
Justin Katz stopped 30 of 34 shots in the losing effort, while Salmon Arm backup Liam Vanderkooi blocked 33 of 35.
The Warriors (13-8-0-0) are idle until Friday, when the Merritt Centennials are slated to pay a visit to Royal LePage Place.
Vernon 5, Trail 3
Cameron MacDonald buried the first and last goals of the games as the Vernon Vipers skated to a 5-3 win Friday night against the host Trail Smoke Eaters.
Reagan Milburn, Nicholas Kent and Luke Pakulak also tallied for the Snakes, who were tied 3-3 with under 10 minutes to play in the third period.
Ethan David turned away 28 of 31 shots to secure the win for Vernon. His counterpart, Evan Fradette, stopped 35 of 40.
Cranbrook 4, Vernon 2
It appears the 7-1 thrashing the Bucks suffered Friday night in Penticton gave them a badly needed boost on Saturday in Vernon.
Cranbrook took a 3-0 lead into the third period, before Luke Lavery and Jojo Tanaka-Campbell finally got Vernon on the board, but Andrew King sealed it for the Bucks with just under a minute to play in regulation time.
Roan Clarke stopped 24 of 27 shots for the Snakes, while counterpart Nathan Airey blocked 34 of 36 for his first win of the season in the Cranbrook net.
The Vipers (6-10-3-2) are back on the ice Friday night in Trail (11-7-1-0)