The Penticton Vees (10-2-1-1) got a pair of goals from Jared Nash and 31 saves from Nolan Hildebrand Friday night as they beat the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (6-7-1-2) 4-2.
After a slow opening 10 minutes featuring plenty of turnovers and sloppy play in the neutral zone, the game started to pick up. The Vees had two power play chances in the opening frame but the game remained scoreless after 20 minutes.
It wasn’t until the 14-minute mark of the middle frame the game’s first goal was scored. Cassidy Bowers gathered the puck behind the Alberni net skated in front, spinning and firing the puck into the corner over John Hawthorne’s glove.
The lead didn’t last long, as three-and-a-half minutes later Paul Selleck redirected a point shot past Hildebrand to tie the game at one after 40 minutes of play.
The majority of the action happened in the third period, and it started with Alberni taking the lead. Cole Poliziani kicked the puck to himself in the slot before firing it past an outstretched Hildebrand less than three minutes into the final period.
The lead lasted 31 seconds as Jared Nash banked the puck off Hawthorne’s back from below the goal line for his third goal of the year.
A little over a minute later, Owen Sillinger took a snap shot coming down the left wing that snuck under the blocker of Hawthorne and just slid over the goal line to restore the Vees lead.
A few minutes after the goal, Bowes went for a big hit just beside the Alberni bench, and while he didn’t connect on the hit, he shattered the glass beside the bench which caused an 11-minute delay.
When play resumed, the pace of the game didn’t slow despite the long delay. Both teams continued to fire pucks on net, and Nash was able to add his second of the game off a great pass from Nicky Leivermann who was inside the left face-off circle.
Final shots were 36-33 for Penticton as Hildebrand came up with his biggest performance of the year, improving to 5-0 on season.
The Vees now hit the road for a long road trip to play the Trail Smoke Eaters (11-4-0-1) for the first time this season. The Smokies are coming off a 5-4 win in Merritt Friday night. Last season Penticton split their season.