The Penticton Vees worked hard to come back from a three-goal, second period deficit but could not find the back of the net to achieve a win and eventually fell to the Prince George Spruce Kings by a 6-2 score on Wednesday night at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena.
The Vees and Spruce Kings were matched in play in the opening period, each using opportune scoring chances, but their goaltenders protected the nets leaving an empty scoreboard heading into the second.
The Spruce Kings were first to hit the scoresheet in the second period as Simon Labelle snagged a loose puck and sent it over the glove side shoulder of Colin Purcell at the 6:28 mark of the second period to give Prince George a 1-0 lead.
Their scoring continued through the midway point of the period, earning two goals in an 18-second span to jump ahead of the game by a three point lead. Nick Rheaume’s goal was chipped past the blocker side of Purcell at the 10:24 mark of the period.
Following that at the 10:42 mark, Nathan Fox took the puck away from a Vees defender and took it off of the right leg of Purcell from the right goal line to give Prince George that 3-0 edge.
The Vees sent in Carter Serhyenko in relief of Purcell, who let in three goals on 13 shots in the game.
Josh Niedermayer gave the Vees a chance again when the defender got the puck in the slot after a Josh Nadeau’s shot was blocked, sending it past the blocker side of Trotter just before the end of the second period.
Penticton came out with life again in the third period in an effort to close the Spruce King’s lead at the 3:27 mark of the third. Josh Nadeau took a pass from Adam Eisele, sending the puck over Trotter‘s glove side.
Despite the push back from Penticton, the Spruce Kings were able to extend their lead further in the third with a pair of goals just ahead of the 10-minute mark.
A blue line shot from Josh Wright was knocked down at the front of the net with Rheaume taking the puck past the blocker side of Serhyenko to make it a 4-2 game.
At the 13:58 mark of the final period, Kolton Cousins collected the puck at the blocker side of the Vees’ net and came behind to wrap it around on the glove side of Serhyenko for a three-goal lead.
Following this, a shorthanded goal from Rowan Miller concluded the scoring when Prince George made it 6-2 on a 2-on-0 from Rheaume to Miller.
The Vees will return home for a Friday night showdown at the South Okanagan Events Centre against the Merritt Centennials as the Vees honour their season tickets members with a Season Ticket Members Appreciation Night. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.