BCHL Wrap: Penticton loses first games, Nanaimo and Cranbrook extend win streaks

The number one storyline heading into last week’s BC Hockey League schedule was the undefeated Penticton Vees looking to extend their 24-game win streak.

Penticton was in tough, however, as the Vees were visiting the Wenatchee Wild and the surging Cranbrook Bucks on a Southern Interior road swing.

Here is a game-by-game look at the last seven days of action in the BCHL weekend wrap.

Wednesday, Dec. 7

Surrey 3 at Chilliwack 4 (OT): After the Chiefs built a 3-0 lead through the first two periods, Surrey came storming back in the third and tied the game with 2.5 seconds remaining in regulation.

Chilliwack’s Mason Kesselring scored his second goal of the night at 1:35 of overtime for the game-winner.

Prince George 3 at West Kelowna 6: Three points each from Luke Devlin and Ben MacDonald and a four-goal second period paced West Kelowna to the win.

The Warriors have now won the last two meetings in their season series with Prince George.

Friday, Dec. 9

West Kelowna 2 at Cranbrook 5: Jack Henry scored twice, Donovan and Julian Frias combined for four points, and Nathan Airey made 34 saves on 36 shots in the win.

The Bucks’ second triumph in two games against the Warriors this season allowed them to leapfrog West Kelowna for second place in the Interior Conference standings.

Salmon Arm 2 at Vernon 5: Luke Pakulak scored twice and 10 different Vipers recorded a point as they won their second consecutive contest and third in their last four games.

Nanaimo 5 at Alberni Valley 4: Nanaimo scored 1:59 into the first period and 2:05 into the second before adding three more goals in the middle frame en route to the win.

Willyam Gendron, Mike Murtagh, and Jeremie Payant recorded two points each while Aidan Campbell stopped 37 of 41 shots in the Clippers victory.

Victoria 4 at Coquitlam 5: The Express raced to a 4-1 second period lead before Victoria came back to tie the game with three goals in the third.

With just 17 seconds remaining in regulation, Coquitlam’s Evan Brown scored the winner on his third point of the night.

Trail 2 at Merritt 1 (SO): Ridge Dawson scored the shootout winner while Teagan Kendrick made 38 saves through regulation and overtime as Trail edged the Centennials in Merritt.

Surrey 1 at Powell River 4: The Kings got a single point from 11 different skaters and scored a pair of third period goals just 1:16 apart to secure their second straight win.

Cowichan Valley 3 at Prince George 6: Ty Gagno and John Herrington recorded two goals and two assists each as Prince George snapped a four-game losing skid.

The Spruce Kings outshot Cowichan 42-27 in the game and scored a pair of goals in each period to edge the Capitals.

Penticton 1 at Wenatchee 2: Wild goalie Owen Millward made 43 saves as Wenatchee escaped with the win despite being outshot 44-19 by Penticton.

The Vees’ loss was their first in 25 games this season and ended a 40-game win streak dating back to game one of last season’s playoffs.

Chilliwack 1 at Langley 4: The Rivermen got two goals from Vitaly Levyy, two assists each from Andrej Kovacevic and Joseph Messina, and 35 saves from Ajeet Gundarah for their first win in three games.

Saturday, Dec. 10

Penticton 1 at Cranbrook 4: The Bucks scored three goals in the first period, Jaden Fodchuk and Cooper Boulanger tallied two assists each, and Nathan Airey made 36 saves in Cranbrook’s fifth straight win.

It was the Bucks first victory over Penticton in three games this season, and just their third in 18 all-time meetings.

Vernon 4 at Salmon Arm 3 (OT): Jonathan Horn scored the winner 3:23 into overtime as the Vipers swept the weekend home-and-home with Salmon Arm.

Vernon got two goals from Luke Pakulak, two assists each from Reagan Millburn and Seiya Tanaka-Campbell, and 40 saves from Ethan David in the win.

Victoria 3 at Chilliwack 4 (OT): The Chiefs erased a 3-0 deficit to force overtime, where Mason Kesselring scored his second sudden-death game-winning goal of the week.

Coquitlam 0 at Alberni Valley 4: Dakota MacIntosh notched a goal and an assist and Hobie Hedquist made 31 saves for his first shutout of the season.

The Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak with the win.

Cowichan Valley 0 at Merritt 6: Carter Schmidt tallied a goal and two assists and Connor Sullivan made 27 saves as Merritt blanked the Capitals.

The Centennials are now 3-1-1 in their past five games to move within four points of the Interior Conference’s final playoff spot.

Surrey 4 at Powell River 7: The Kings got three points each from Anthony Yu and Anthony Lucarelli, while Parker Lalonde, Nic Porchetta, and Dylan Hewlett managed a pair of points each.

Powell River has now won three straight games while Surrey has suffered three consecutive defeats.

West Kelowna 2 at Trail 4: Mathieu Cobetto-Roy tallied three assists, Adam Marshall scored twice, and Nick Remissong and Ethan Willoughby added two points each.

Keegan Maddocks made 36 saves as the Smoke Eaters won their fourth straight game while handing West Kelowna its second straight loss.

Sunday, Dec. 11

Coquitlam 3 at Nanaimo 5: Two points each from Brody Waters, Kai Daniels, Jeremie Payant, and Michael Craig powered the Coastal Conference-leading Clippers to their sixth straight win.

Nanaimo is now just four points behind Penticton for first overall in the BCHL.

Victoria 2 at Langley 1 (OT): Gus Holt stopped 36 shots and Owen Bohn scored in regulation and assisted on the game-winner at 1:26 of overtime as the Grizzlies picked up their first win of a three-game weekend road trip.

West Kelowna 4 at Wenatchee 5 (OT): Ean Somoza tallied a goal and three assists, while Micah Berger, Cade Littler, Parker Murray, and Lukas McCloskey recorded two points each.

Wenatchee won its second consecutive contest while West Kelowna lost for a third straight time on the road trip despite picking up a point in the overtime loss.

Notes from the week

After winning 40 consecutive contests which included 16 straight during last year’s playoff run and 24 in a row to start this season, Penticton has now lost its last two games.

Vees forward Bradly Nadeau scored the lone Penticton goal on Saturday night in Cranbrook. He continues to lead the league with 26 goals and 51 points through 26 games this season.

Following Penticton’s mini losing streak and six straight wins of their own, the Clippers are within four points of the Vees atop the BCHL standings. Nanaimo is also seven points up on Surrey in the Coastal Conference after the Eagles lost their last three games.

Cranbrook has won five straight and sits in sole possession of second place in the Interior Conference after overtaking the Warriors this past weekend.

Vernon has won three straight games and four of their past five, while Trail has won its last four contests consecutively. The surging Vipers and Smoke Eaters sit sixth and seventh respectively in the Interior Conference standings.

With just one week left until the holiday break, teams are about to play their final games before a two-week pause in the schedule.