Penticton Vees Ryan Sandelin attempts to put the puck past the pad of West Kelowna Warriors goalie Brock Baier in the first period of Wednesday’s B.C. Hockey League game at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Mark Brett/Western News

Sandelin scores twice as Penticton Vees defeat West Kelowna Warriors

Penticton Vees bounced back to defeat the West Kelowna Warriors in second of home-and-home series

The Penticton Vees (14-7-1-2) scored three times in the opening 7:33 en route to a 7-4 win over the West Kelowna Warriors (15-9-0-1) Wednesday night.

The Vees were looking for redemption after suffering a 3-1 loss the evening before at Royal LePage Place.

Related: Warriors come out on top over Vees in first of home-and-home series

After Kenny Johnson was given a penalty during warmup for shooting the puck into the Warriors net, the Vees started the game down a man. Despite this, the Warriors didn’t register a shot on goal and the Vees opened the scoring moments later.

Off a face-off in the Warriors zone, Cole Shepard was able to slide the puck to Ryan Sandelin who beat Warriors goalie Brock Baier, who was caught out of position. The goal came just 2:05 into the game.

Related: No bronze medal for Penticton Vees player

Not even two minutes later, Jack Barnes took a centring feed from below the goal line and pulled the puck to his backhand beating Baier on the blocker side. Peter Muzyka picked up the second assist on the goal, his first point of the season.

The offence wasn’t done there as Massimo Rizzo scored his first of the year on the power play, firing a shot off the post and in on the glove side of Baier, ending his night with three goals on 11 shots.

Kenny Johnson kept the crowd on their feet as he threw a pair of massive open-ice body checks just minutes apart on Parm Dhaliwal and Bennet Norlin. Dhaliwal left the game and didn’t return.

The Warriors got on the scoreboard in the opening minute of the second with a power play goal from Lucas Cullen. He deflected a wrist shot from Lucas Bahn just 52 seconds into the third.

The Vees would regain their three-goal lead in the late stages of the period as Eric Linell fired a wrist shot into the top corner over the glove of goalie Connor Hopkins.

The lead didn’t last long as Willie Reim deflected another shot from the slot past Vees goalie Derek Krall just over a minute later to make it 4-2 Vees heading into the third.

Nearly two minutes into the final frame, Cassidy Bowes extended the Vees lead by beating Hopkins on the blocker side with a wrist shot off the rush. It was Bowes’ second goal of the season.

Related: Penticton Vees Bowes flow a no-go for BCHL poll

The Warriors would again battle back thanks to a goal from Mike Hardman at 8:48, but Shepard quickly got the momentum back by firing home the rebound off a 2-on-1 with Sandelin just over a minute later.

After Cullen scored his second of the game minutes after Shepard’s goal, Penticton would eventually hit the empty net, thanks to Sandelin, to seal the 7-4 win.

With the win, the Vees improve to 10-0 following a loss this season and are tied for first (31 points) in the Interior Division with the Merritt Centennials and Warriors. The Vees now get set to host the Victoria Grizzlies (15-7-0-1) to the SOEC Saturday night for the annual Pink in the Rink night.

The Warriors next game is Friday at Royal LePage Place versus the Vernon Vipers (8-8-6-2), puck drop is at 7 p.m.

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