Penticton Vees vs West Kelowna Warriors, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021 in West Kelowna.

The Penticton Vees threw 41 shots on goal but just could not find a late equalizer as they dropped a 4-3 decision to the West Kelowna Warriors on Wednesday night at Royal LePage Place.

The Vees returned from the holiday break just the way they were hoping to in the opening period of the game, scoring just 45 seconds into the contest as Owen Simpson scored his first goal as a member of the Vees and his 3rd marker of the season to put the visiting side ahead by a goal early on in the game.

Simpson collected the puck at the left half boards off a pass from Frank Djurasevic at the mid-point and threw a shot on goal that had eyes for the back of the net, beating a screened Warriors goaltender Johnny Derrick over the glove side to give Penticton a 1-0 advantage.

Derrick and the Warriors held the Vees off the scoresheet for the remainder of the opening frame as West Kelowna was next to answer and scored the first of two quick goals to tie the game and then get ahead in the 1st frame, beginning with a Chase Dafoe tally at the 16:10 mark to tie the game at 1-1.

Dafoe collected the puck in the right face-off circle and snapped a shot through the glove side of Vees goaltender Carter Serhyenko, making his first start with the team, as West Kelowna evened the score at the 16:10 mark of the 1st period.

16 seconds after tying the game, the Warriors jumped ahead by a goal on a play that had the Vees up in arms. A point shot from Charles-Alexis Legault was redirected past the glove side of Serhyenko by Felix Trudeau, although it appeared Trudeau’s stick was above the cross bar and the goal should have been disallowed. The referees came together and ruled the goal would stand and West Kelowna took a 2-1 lead into the 2nd period.

Penticton started to find their legs in the 2nd period, outshooting the Warriors by a 16-8 margin in the middle stanza and getting the game’s tying goal at the 9:19 mark of the middle frame. Luc Wilson gathered a puck in the left face-off circle after Ryan Hopkins poked it free and laced a shot over the glove side of Derrick, picking the top corner for his 15th goal of the season and evening the score at 2-2 just under halfway into the 2nd period.

Derrick made some solid stops to keep the game all square heading into the 3rd period before the Vees continued to pour on pressure in the game’s final period but could not find the back of the net by the Warriors goaltender.

Elan Bar-Lev-Wise struck against the flow of play to give West Kelowna a 3-2 lead at the 7:09 mark of the 3rd period. A shot from the left face-off circle by Legault was denied by Serhyenko before Bar-Lev-Wise potted in the rebound as West Kelowna took their second lead of the game.

The Warriors collected their largest lead of the game just moments after that at the 12:36 mark of the final period with Dafoe earning his second goal of the game. The Warriors forward was left alone in front of the net as he collecting the puck from a scrum of players and went to his backhand to beat Serhyenko on the glove side and pushed the Warriors lead to 4-2.

Thomas Pichette narrowly missed the net on a chance in front of the goal to try and get the Vees within a marker before Josh Nadeau got a break with under three minutes to play, getting behind the Warriors defence and drawing a penalty shot.

The Vees forward made his way in on Derrick slowly before getting to the slot and faking a shot on his forehand before moving to his backhand and lifting the puck over the blocker side of Derrick for his team-leading 19th goal of the season and cut the lead in half to 4-3 with 2:47 to play.

With the net empty, the Vees worked a 6-on-5 attack with just over two minutes remaining in an effort to tie the game but were unable to beat Derrick and the Warriors, who skated away with a 4-3 win over Penticton.

Carter Serhyenko made 19 saves on 23 shots in his first appearance with the team, taking his 1st loss of the season while Johnny Derrick turned aside 38 of the 41 shots thrown his way in his 13th victory of the season.


FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Warriors

SHOTS ON GOAL: 41-23 Vees

VEES PP: 1/7

VEES PK: 5/6


1) Elan Bar-Lev-Wise (1-0-1)

2) Johnny Derrick (38 saves on 41 shots)

3) Felix Trudeau (1-1-2)

Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Pat Lawn (0-0-0)

Attendance: 750

The Vees (20-4-0-1) return to the South Okanagan Events Centre for their final home game of 2021 and New Year’s Eve matchup against the West Kelowna Warriors (17-9-0-0) on Friday night. Tickets are available online at ValleyFirstTix.com as well as at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with the game being broadcasted live on Bounce Radio 800 as well as streamed on BCHLTV.ca beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 PM.

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