The Penticton Vees used an overtime goal from Captain Fin Williams to come-from-behind in a 3-2 victory over the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
A game of inches did not go the Vees way in the opening period as Penticton found ways to generate offence but hit three posts in the 1st period including a pair hit by Casey McDonald. Bradley Nadeau had the opening attempt that hit the right post on a shot from the slot over three minutes into the game while McDonald clanked the right post from a goal line try and another off of a face-off.
The Vees outshot the Wild by an 11-5 margin heading into the 2nd period where the Wild started to apply a bit of pressure with a pair of power play opportunities and were able to get ahead by a 1-0 score at the 10:53 mark of the middle stanza as Jayden Price collected the first goal of the season for the Wild.
Price took the puck on the blocker side and worked his way behind the net before wrapping the puck around on the glove side of Vees netminder Colin Purcell as he tucked the puck under his left side at the 10:53 mark of the middle frame to give the visiting team a 1-0 advantage.
The lead lasted just 12 seconds as Josh Nadeau tallied his first BC Hockey League goal to get the Vees into a 1-1 tie. Nadeau picked up a loose puck in the top of the left face-off circle and rifled a shot over the glove shoulder of Wild goaltender Hank Levy to even the score at the 11:05 mark.
Each team collected 9 shots in the middle stanza heading into the 3rd period where the game remained even at 1-1 before the Wild earned their second lead of the game courtesy of Cade Littler to push Wenatchee ahead by a 2-1 score.
After a turnover inside of the defensive zone, Littler picked up the loose puck and sent a shot underneath the pads of Purcell for his first BCHL goal at the 3:38 mark of the 3rd period to put Wenatchee ahead by a one-goal margin.
The Vees picked up the pressure as the period went along and were able to even the score at the 13:21 mark of the final regulation period with Nadeau making an impact once again. Nadeau took a pass from Fin Williams at the front of the net as he swung a pass from the right wing to the top of the crease as Nadeau batted the puck past the blocker side for his 2nd goal of the game and evened the score once more at 2-2.
The two teams played to the tie into overtime as each team earned a point and played extra time for the first time this season. Both teams had chances to end the game in the extra frame but it would be the captain Williams who gave the Vees their 2nd win of the season.
Luc Wilson knocked a puck down in the neutral zone which allowed Williams to take the puck for a breakaway from the blue line, going from his backhand to his forehand and slipped the puck past the glove side of Levy for his 2nd goal of the season and the game winning marker three minutes into the overtime frame as the Vees earned a 3-2 victory.
Colin Purcell turned aside 19 of the 21 shots to earn his 1st career BCHL victory while Hank Levy stopped 30 of the 33 shots thrown his way in his 1st loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 Vees (OT)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 33-21 Vees
VEES PP: 0/1
VEES PK: 5/5
1) Fin Williams (1-1-2)
2) Josh Nadeau (2-0-2)
3) Hank Levy (30 saves on 33 shots)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Spencer Smith (0-0-0)
The Vees (2-0-0-0) will continue on their three-game home stand to begin the season as they host the Trail Smoke Eaters (1-1-0-0) on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with tickets available online at valleyfirsttix.com as well as at the SOEC Box Office. The game will be broadcasted on Bounce 800 as well as HockeyTV.com beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 PM.