Vees snap Clippers' streak

The Penticton Vees stopped the BCHL’s hottest team at home Saturday, handing the Nanaimo Clippers a 4-1 loss and snapping their 10 game winning streak.

Massimo Rizzo started scoring 11:15 into the first frame after finding a loose puck behind goaltender Jordan Naylor.

His goal would stand alone until over halfway through the third when the Vees would strike again. Just as a power play expired, Rizzo skated into the slot and fired a wrist shot that beat a screened Naylor to make it 2-0.

Luke Loheit would make it 3-0 less than a minute later.

The game got ugly with three minutes remaining as Peter Muzyka had Zack Dallazzana lined up for a huge hit. Dallazzana ducked and avoided the brunt of the collision, but the Clippers didn’t like the hit and three of them charged Muzyka and jumped on top of him.

A massive scrum erupted in front of the Vees bench with Muzyka throwing punches at Connor Wetsch, who was on his first shift of the game. Both players were ejected from the game, and inexplicably the Clippers ended up on the power play.

“Things kind of boiled over, they got frustrated after we scored the third goal...the refs did a real good job of keeping it under control," Vees coach and GM Fred Harbinson said after the game. "They [Nanaimo] did a lot of talking and I guess we’ll see, we’ll be there in a few weeks and should make for an exciting night.”

Mackenzie Merrimann ended Jack LaFontaine’s shutout bid by beating him with a wrist shot from the right circle with 2:16 remaining.

The Vees would answer back however, as the Clippers were called for two penalties in quick succession giving Penticton a 5-on-3 power play. Lukas Sillinger jumped on the rebound of a Rizzo shot and put it into the net with 0.3 seconds remaining.

The win snapped Nanaimo’s 10-game streak and put the Vees in sole possession of first in the Interior Division. The Vees next game action is Wednesday in Wenatchee against the Wild.

Announced attendance was 2,964.

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