Vees win Teddy Bear Toss

The Penticton Vees defeated the Powell River Kings 3-1 Saturday night in their annual Teddy Bear Toss game.

Chris Klack got the teddy bear goal midway through the first, triggering a wave of stuffed toys. Ty Amonte and Grant Cruikshank also scored.

The Vees went seven for seven on the penalty kill, neutralizing the Kings fifth ranked power play.

Mat Robson made 20-saves for his 19th win of the season.

The win improves the Vees’ record to 24-5-0-1.

Penticton is back in action on Wednesday when they face the Vernon Vipers at home; puck drop is 7 p.m.

Warriors snap losing skid

The West Kelowna Warriors brought an abrupt halt to their three-game losing skid.

The Warriors score three unanswered goals in the second period, then hung on for a 4-2 victory over the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday at Royal LePage Place.

Stephen Kleyson led the way with a goal and two assists while Connor Sodergren had a goal and an assist.

Jake Harrison and Braiden Epp each scored once while Chase Stevenson had a pair of helpers.

The Warriors didn't make it easy on themselves in the third. After consecutive third period collapses, the Warriors did enough to fend off the pesky Bulldogs over the final 20 minutes.

"I think we just need to compete harder in our own zone," said assistant coach Shae Naka.

"Our defensive game has slipped in the last couple of weeks. I think we made a point of it to compete harder in our defensive zone, and I think that really paid off in the first two periods.

"I think the shots against were under 15 in the first two periods, and I think that's something to build on."

Kleyson scored the only goal of the opening 20 minutes. After Chase Dubois just missed on a power-play moments earlier, Kleyson threw the puck toward the net from the near boards.

The shot hit something and deflected past Brody Claeys.

The Warriors broke the game open in the second.

Epp beat Claeys with a wrist shot from the slot on a power-play 42 seconds in, then Harrison deflected Scott Allen's point shot directly off a faceoff to build the lead to 3-0 and chase Claeys from the net.

Zakery Myrowich went the rest of the way.

Soldergren was the only Warrior to beat the backup, banging a rebound through his legs for his 11th of the season on another West Kelowna power-play.

"I thought we were really good in the first two periods, probably the most energy we've played with in about four games," said Naka.

"We played a lot more physical and won a lot more battles. Hence, we were able to build up the lead."

The Bulldogs got back into it with a pair of goals in the final period, the last with just 21 seconds left. They appeared to get a third as time was expiring, however, the referees determined the buzzer had sounded before the puck entered the net. The red light never did  come on.

Shane Farkas went the distance for the Warriors, stopping 29 shots for the win.

The win kept the Warriors in a tie with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at the bottom of the Interior Division standings.

Both teams are three points in back of Merritt and four behind Trail.

Prior to the game, the Warriors sent goaltender Keelan Williams to the Surrey Eagles in exchange for forward Logan Mostat and future considerations.

Williams, a key component in the Warriors drive to the RBC Cup, just returned to the ice after missing the first three months of the season with a lower body injury suffered prior to the start of training camp.

He became the third goaltender with the arrival of Nik Amundrud and the emergence of Farkas.

Mostat, 19, has 11 goals and 13 assists in 31 games with the Eagles this season. Over his career, Mostat has 15 goals and 33 points in 59 games.

He should be in the line-up Tuesday when the Warriors entertain Salmon Arm.

Double OT heartbreaker

A comeback attempt fell short for the Penticton Vees Friday night, as they fell 4-3 in double-overtime to the visiting Salmon Arm Silverbacks. 

The Vees' Duncan Campbell tied the game with just 19 seconds left in regulation.

But, Carter Cochrane sunk the game-winner two and a half minutes into three-on-three overtime.

Ty Amonte scored the other two goals for the Vees, as they came back after trailing 3-1 through two periods. 

Call-up Josh Arnold scored his first BCHL goal in the first period, along with veteran Mitch Skapski, as the Silverbacks staked an early 2-0 lead. Marcus Mitchell scored in early the second, but the real story was in goal, as Nic Tallarico made 51-saves in his first start for Salmon Arm.

The Vees got a much-needed boost late in the first, as Amonte scored with less than five minutes to go, curling out from behind the net to fire a wrist-shot glove side, inside the post.

Penticton couldn't find the net in the second, ringing shots off the cross-bar, and captain Nicholas Jones was cut on a high hit that knocked his helmet off. A scrum ended with a handful of penalties.

Penticton refocused in the third, with Amonte benefitting from a lucky bounce. Owen Sillinger had his shot kicked out, but it went off of Amonte’s skate and back into the net. 

With the Vees' net empty for the extra skater late in the period, James Miller made a play at the blue-line to save the puck from going outside the zone. He fired it over to Sillinger, whose point-shot was redirected in by Campbell from the top of the crease. 

Neither team was able to seal the deal in the first overtime period. 

The 'Backs caught a tired Vees trio up ice after Penticton's best chance in three-on-three, with Cochrane putting a cross-ice pass over the glove of Matt Robson at 2:25 of double OT.

Penticton next plays the Powell River Kings tonight at the SOEC.

Warriors bitten by Vipers

It was another third period to forget for the West Kelowna Warriors.

The Vernon Vipers scored four unanswered goals over the final 20 minutes Friday, to skate away with a 6-1 victory over the Warriors at Kal Tire Place.

The Warriors did manage to open the scoring Friday, something they hadn't done in the past eight games.

Michael Ryan did the deed, scoring on a power-play with a shot from the right point that beat a screened Darion Hanson.

It was all they would get on the night.

Niko Karamanis scored his first of two in the period just 90 seconds later.

It was teddy bear toss night in Vernon, meaning the game was halted for several minutes after the goal to collect teddy bears that will put a smile on a child's face this holiday season.

The Warriors managed 18 shots during a scoreless second period, and were denied a game-tying goal when it was deemed the puck had been thrown or gloved into the net.

The Vipers scored four times in the third on goals from Jimmy Lambert, Austin Adamson, Brett Stapley and Ryan Brushett

Warriors goaltender Nik Amundrud made 36 saves on 42 shots for his 3rd loss of the season while Vernon netminder Darion Hanson stopped 30 of 31 shots for his 3rd victory of the season.

The Warriors look to snap a three-game losing streak Saturday when they return home to host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Vees goalie going to NCAA

Penticton Vees goaltender Mat Robson has committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2017-18 season.

Robson says the Golden Gophers are the perfect fit for him.

“I felt really comfortable on my visit, as the coaches were great to me and I fell in love with the city; being a Toronto kid, I wanted to go to a big school. The program speaks for itself and they’re always contending for a national championship, and I want to be a catalyst to help them achieve that.”

Robson has had a strong season with the Vees so far, leading the BCHL with 18 wins, a goals against average of 1.90 and save percentage of .927. He already has two shutouts.

“Their facilities are second to none and playing in front of 10,000 fans every night is going to be exciting. Walking around the campus you can tell how much hockey means and how big of a deal it is, and I love playing in that type of environment.”

Robson is the 16th player on the Vees’ roster to secure an NCAA Division l commitment.

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