Vees pummel red-hot 'Backs

A red-hot Salmon Arm Silverbacks team couldn't contain the Penticton Vees, who continue to ride the hot hand themselves.

Penticton improved to 11-1-0-1 so far in 2018 with a 5-1 road win against Salmon Arm on Saturday, a win that also ended a seven-game winning streak for the Silverbacks. 

Taylor Ward, who entered play with six goals in his past seven games, didn't take long to push that goal streak a game further. He scored 2:38 into the game to put the Vees on the board.

Silverbacks leading scorer Rhett Kingston responded for the home team with a goal 35 seconds later.

The scoring was all Penticton after that, and three of their four goals came in rapid succession in the second period.

Captain Owen Sillinger scored his team-leading 25th goal at 9:26 of the middle frame, which would be the eventual game winner.

James Miller scored just 14 seconds after Sillinger's goal, and Massimo Rizzo scored 48 seconds after that to stretch the lead further. Sillinger scored his second of the period about nine minutes later.

In a period where Penticton took over on the scoreboard, they also led 18-9 in shots in the middle period.

The Vees led 39-27 in shots on the night, and went 2-7 on the powerplay and 6-6 on the penalty kill.

Miller led the way offensively with a goal and two assists. Sillinger and Michael Campoli also had multi-point games.

Salmon Arm had a winning record against Penticton in their regular season meetings last year, but that script hasn't carried over this season. The Vees are now 4-0 in their head-to-head matchups.

For the first time all year, the Vees now are solely in first place in the BCHL standings — sitting one point up on the Wenatchee Wild and two up on the Vernon Vipers, who each have played two more games than Penticton.

The Vipers, who weren't in action on Saturday, had kept pace with the Vees in points for the past two weeks.

A stretch of six straight road games for the Vees concludes on Wednesday when the visit the Trail Smoke Eaters. Penticton returns home on Friday, facing Trail for a second-straight time.

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