Noland Hildebrand made 26 saves to lead the Penticton Vees to a 4-2 win over the Merritt Centennials to kick off the B.C. Hockey League season on Sept. 8.                                Ian Webster/Merritt Herald

Noland Hildebrand made 26 saves to lead the Penticton Vees to a 4-2 win over the Merritt Centennials to kick off the B.C. Hockey League season on Sept. 8. Ian Webster/Merritt Herald

Play nets Vees goalie confidence, win

Penticton Vees goalie Nolan Hildebrand confidence nets him early win

Backing up Mat Robson last season brought Nolan Hildebrand some challenges.

On Sept. 8, he got another confidence boost when he stopped 26 shots in a 4-2 win on the road against the Merritt Centennials to open the B.C. Hockey League season. Hildebrand’s play earned the praise of Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson.

“He (Hildebrand) battled through a lot of difficult things with us last year, and was a good soldier for us,” Harbinson told the Merritt Herald. “He deserved to get the start tonight.”

Hildebrand said he felt good in the crease, earning his seventh career win.

“My angles were solid, my puck play is a lot better than it was last year, I just felt confident in the net,” he said.

Hildebrand admitted there were ups and downs last season backing up Mat Robson, seeing action in 13 games. Being in that role was challenging. It motivated him to work hard in the gym and refine his game on the ice. He feels as though that gave him a new level of confidence coming into the season. Hildebrand said he learned a lot from last season and is using that to build for this season. He also said having a great group of teammates in front makes it easier. Helping the Vees collect two points, Hildebrand doesn’t plan on getting too high from that.

Hildebrand liked how committed his teammates were to the systems in their win.

“It’s early in the year and we still have some work to be done. For having only a handful of practices, being able to perform the systems the way Freddy wants them, as well as we did, I felt like that was huge,” he said.

Vees co-captain Owen Sillinger liked how the team competed against the Centennials. He said they came out very strong scoring in the second and third shifts. They stuck with it, but had some trouble in the second period, which they were edged in shots 13-11. It was also exciting for his brother Lukas to score his first BCHL goal.

“I sat down and took a drink of water and saw he potted one,” he said. “I was very excited for him, especially with a 2-0 lead in the first period.”

Sillinger described Hildebrand’s play as “unbelievable.” He made the big stops when we needed him. Sillinger agreed it was important for the team to see him play well.

“We had a proud locker room,” said Sillinger. “We watched Hildy perform to the potential that he had. It was great to see the guy some out with a W.”

In other league action posted on the BCHL website from Sept. 9, Jimmy Lambert scored twice in the third, including a shorthanded marker, in the space of 2:21 to deliver a 6-5 comeback win at home for the Vernon Vipers over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Lambert also picked up three assists for a five-point night and was named first Star.

Brandon Wells made 21 saves for his first BCHL shut out and Andre Ghantous scored a goal and added two helpers to pace the Trail Smoke Eaters to a 4-0 win over the host West Kelowna Warriors. Levi Glasman scored the winner with Ghantous scoring in the second with Ross Armour and Braeden Tuck (empty net) scoring in the third.

Ethan Nother’s unassisted goal in 3-on-3 double overtime lifted the visiting Victoria Grizzlies to a 2-1 win over the Powell River Kings. Jacson Alexander opened the scoring for Grizz in the first but Ben Raffler tied it late in the opening frame. The second and third periods were scoreless setting the stage for Nother’s winner in OT.

AJ Vanderbeck scored twice to lead the Wenatchee Wild to a 5-3 road win over the Merritt Centennials. The home side got off to a good start with Jack Vincent and Zach Zorn putting them ahead two by the 3:53 mark. Seth Eisele made 25 saves for the win in his first BCHL start.

The Nanaimo Clippers got goals from eight scorers on the way to an 8-3 road win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Haydn Hopkins got the home side in front just past the five-minute mark but it was the only lead they’d hold on the night. Jamie Collins, David Melaragni, Jack MacNab, David Silye, Jake Harris and Tristan Crozier scored for Nanaimo in the first to put them up 6-1 after 20 minutes. Cal Babych scored an empty-netter for Nanaimo. Austin Roden made 32 saves for the win.

The Prince George Spruce Kings also had eight scorers in an 8-2 home win over the Chilliwack Chiefs. Ryan Stack and Ben Poisson put the Spruce Kings up two after one but Nick Ormon and Tommy Lee replied for the Chiefs in the second to tie it. Layton Ahac, Shawn Kennedy and Ben Brar scored for the Spruce Kings to put them ahead for good. In the third, Dustin Manz, Ethan de Jong and Jarod Hovde got the final Spruce King goals. Evan DeBrouwer made 29 saves for the win.


 

@pentictonsports
sports@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Approximately 2,500 teachers, school staff vaccinated in Central Okanagan

Central Okanagan Teachers’ Association said teachers are thrilled

City of West Kelowna. (Phil McLachlan/West K News)
City of West Kelowna puts more than $35M into infrastructure projects

Sizable investments into road and active transportation network projects

A hummingbird gives its wings a rare rest while feeding in a North Okanagan garden. (Karen Siemens/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)
Hummingbirds back for another Okanagan season

North America’s littlest birds return, and they’re hungry

Two cyclists traverse a closed Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna on June 29, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna recognized as bike-friendly city

City earns bronze in nationwide Bicycle Friendly Communities award program

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Lakeside Medicine Centre Pharmacy in Kelowna on Sunday, May 2, 2021. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Almost 9K more COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Central Okanagan within a week

Close to 70,000 Central Okanagan residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine

FILE – Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Friday, March 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Looking for the nearest COVID shot? Tech entrepreneur creates texting software in B.C

Zain Manji says app took just one or two hours to create

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Grizzly bear. (File)
Malakwa man bitten by grizzly bear on dog walk

The man and dogs were not seriously injured

Most Read