The Penticton Vees got the fourth game winning goal from Jacob Quillan of the season coupled with 25 saves from Kaeden Lane to defeat the Cranbrook Bucks by a 3-2 score on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
In a season series that has been limited in its first period scoring, Tyler Ho changed that in the opening period with his 6th goal of the season to give the Vees a 1-0 lead. Josh Niedermayer hammered a puck off of the end boards as it sprung to the blocker side of Bucks goaltender Jay Thomson where Ho banged in the bouncing puck past the right post at the 4:12 mark of the 1st period as the Vees struck first blood.
An acrobatic assist highlighted the Vees taking a 2-0 lead in the hockey game courtesy of Jacob Quillan as Liam Malmquist finished off the pretty play. Quillan made his way over the blue line as he was knocked down but as he was falling, scooped the puck through the air to the slot where Malmquist knocked it down and snapped a shot through the blocker side of Thomson for his 5th goal of the season at the 9:21 mark of the opening period and double the Vees lead to 2-0.
The second period saw the Bucks make their way back into the hockey game beginning with the first of two goals in the period from Nik Sombrowski, whose marker at the 4:47 mark of the middle stanza cut the Vees lead to 2-1. Sombrowski walked down the right wing and from the face-off circle sent a shot underneath the glove hand of Vees netminder Kaeden Lane to get the Bucks on the board.
A power play saw the Bucks take just 13 seconds into the man advantage to even the score at the 9:12 of the middle stanza. Cole Assailly sent a left point shot to the front of the net where Sombrowski knocked the puck down and chipped the rebound past the blocker side of Lane for his second of the night to tie the game 2-2.
Each team had pockets of pressure through the middle stanza which saw Kaeden Lane have to make a few quality stops, including a puck that was fought off by the blocker side shoulder of the Vees goaltender after a shot from the blue line from Bucks defender Cameron Kungle.
Not many scoring chances were to be reported in the 3rd period with 12 combined shots through the final frame but just 2:26 in, Quillan pushed the Vees ahead once more with his 7th goal of the season. Ben Wozney has his slot shot stopped by the stick of Thomson before Quillan buried the rebound to send the Vees in front by a 3-2 score early in the final period.
Lane remained to stand tall in the Vees net, turning aside each of the 7 shots he faced in the period and 25 of the 27 thrown his way in the game in his 9th win of the season while Jay Thomson made 21 saves on 24 shots in his 3rd loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 27-24 Bucks
VEES PP: 0/0
VEES PK: 2/3
1) Jacob Quillan (1-1-2)
2) Nik Sombrowski (2-0-2)
3) Kaeden Lane (25 saves on 27 shots)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Stefano Bottini (0-0-0)
The Vees (11-1-0-1) return to action on Monday, April 26, 2021 with their 14th game of the season as they face-off against the Trail Smoke Eaters (5-6-0-0) for the seventh time this season at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with the game broadcasted live on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as on HockeyTV.com and Shaw Spotlight beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 PM with the Voice of the Vees, Trevor Miller.