Vees' weekend not so Wild

The Penticton Vees lost on the road to the Wenatchee Wild for a second-straight night on Saturday, dropping a 3-1 decision in their final game of the calendar year.

After a scoreless first period, top-scorers from both sides were at it again in the second.

A.J. Vanderbeck buried his 20th goal of the season to open the scoring for the Wild, before Owen Sillinger brought the Vees back to even terms with his 19th.  

Vanderbeck's goal was his third of the weekend, while Sillinger's was his fourth, after registering a hat trick in a 6-3 loss the previous night. 

Nathan Iannone scored the eventual game-winner just under five minutes into the third for the Wild. Lucas Sowder would add a third goal in the game's final minute.

The game was loaded with penalties, despite the Wild and the Vees having the second and third fewest penalty minutes, respectively, among all teams in the B.C. Hockey League. 

Penticton successfully killed off seven minor penalties, while Wenatch killed five of their own.

Things boiled over in the final minute. At the same stoppage where Sowder scored to make the game a 3-1 spread, Sillinger and Vanderbeck dropped the gloves. Sillinger was also given a five-minute major for charging on the stoppage.

Another scrum between Kenny Johnson and August Von Ungern resulted in 10 penalty minutes doled out, with 18 seconds left in the game.

Penticton has now dropped five straight games dating back to Dec. 9 — a night when the team had a 12-game win streak snapped.

Despite that, they remain in third overall in the BCHL standings.

The Vees continues to deal with long-term injuries to four players, and for a second straight night in Wenatchee they dressed only 17 skaters.

Penticton will start 2018 with four-straight home games at the South Okanagan Events Centre — beginning on Jan. 5 against the Prince George Spruce Kings.

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