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BCHL  

Vees win ninth in a row

So far so good for the Penticton Vees' island getaway.

The Vees kept rolling on Friday night in Nanaimo, beating the Clippers 2-1 at the Frank Crane Arena to earn their ninth straight win.

The Vees had been lights-out defensively in recent games, and they met their match on Friday in Nanaimo.

As Vees play-by-play broadcaster Craig Beauchemin pointed out prior to puck drop, both the Vees and Clippers had allowed a minuscule 15 goals in their past 10 games, respectively.

Sure enough, Friday's match up would see very little offence.

Penticton would surrender the opening goal in the first period — ending a shutout streak of more than two full games — but the co-captains responded on the scoreboard.

Owen Sillinger scored his team-leading 12th goal late in the first and Grant Cruikshank gave the Vees a lead they didn't relinquished, early in the second period.

Adam Scheel stayed hot in goal, stopping 22 of 23 Clippers shots. The Vees led 34-23 in shots on the night.

Penticton was 1-5 on the powerplay and 5-6 on the penalty kill. The powerplay goal allowed was the first time the Vees had given one up in five games.

The Vees' Vancouver Island trip wraps up on Saturday night against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Penticton has played Alberni twice and earned a pair of close wins, by a 3-2 score on Sept. 22 and 4-2 on Oct. 27.

Despite the Bulldogs currently sitting 15th in the BCHL standings, Vees assistant coach Jason Becker acknowledged they're a difficult team to matchup against.

"Their record isn't indicative of what they are as a group... They'll work hard for 60 minutes. They may not be flashy, but they'll work hard and they're definitely going to push us tomorrow," he said on the Vees' postgame show on EZ Rock 800.

The Vees welcomed back forward Jackson Keane on Friday, who had missed the previous nine games due to injury.

Penticton will go from seven regular defensemen on their roster down to four on Saturday night, as all of Jonny Tychonick, Ryan O'Connell and Luke Reid will be departing for Calgary for Team Canada tryouts in advance of the World Junior A Challenge.

They will have affiliate player Trevor Isaksson in the lineup to give the team five blue liners with Joe Leahy, Kenny Johnson, Nicky Leivermann and Jordan Henderson.

"We'll expect some more minuted for Kenny and for Nicky tomorrow... it gives these guys an opportunity to get some powerplay kill time, some penalty time and some more minutes than they're regularly used to," Becker said.

"With the momentum that we've created from tonight, hopefully that rolls over into tomorrow night too."



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