Junior hockey: Vees paste Warriors, Rockets defenceman cut by Team Finland
A round-up of results from junior hockey teams in the Okanagan.
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE
All WHL teams are on break until later this month. Action resumes with three games in Thursday, December 27th. The next day, Dec. 28th, 11 games are on tap, including the Kelowna Rockets (16-17-2-0) visiting the Kamloops Blazers (12-16-2-1).
The top team in the WHL, and the CHL for that fact, are the Prince Albert Raiders (31-2-0-1), who have only three setbacks in 34 games so far this season.
Statisically, the Raiders have earned 63 points out of a maximum 68 and have a stunning goal differential of plus-95 (165 goals for, 70 goals against). Comparatively, the Rockets have 34 points out of a possible 70 and a goal differential of minus-16 (92 goals for, 108 goals against).
In related news, the Rockets defencemen Lassi Thomson was cut from Finland’s world junior selection camp.
The rearguard from Tampere, Finland, was one of four cuts, with the others being forward Aleksi Klemetti plus defencemen Mikko Kokkonen and Joona Riekkinen.
Thomson suited up for Finland’s first pre-tournament game against Denmark as a seventh defenceman on Wednesday in Langley, B.C. He was held pointless and had two penalty minutes in the 7-0 victory.
Meanwhile, Kelowna defenceman Libor Zabransky is still with the Czech Republic camp. The Czechs will wrap up their pre-tournament schedule today against the Americans in Langley.
B.C. HOCKEY LEAGUE
Penticton 7, West Kelowna 2
At Penticton, the Vees roared out to a 6-0 lead in crushing the Warriors on Friday night.
Lukas Sillinger, with two goals, James Miller, Luke Loheit, Mason Snell, Massimo Rizzo and Jack Lagerstrom scored for Penticton (23-11-1-2), which led 2-0 and 6-1 at the period breaks. Loheit had a three-point night, as he also recorded two assists. Mike Hardman and Chase Dubois replied for West Kelowna (22-15-0-1).
Connor Hopkins, who started and stopped 17 of 21 shots, and Brock Baier, who was 29-of-32 in relief, split goaltending duties for the Warriors. Derek Krall stopped 21 of 23 shots for the Vees.
West Kelowna was 2-for-2 on the power play while Penticton was 2-for-5. The attendance was 2,910.
Vernon 3, Wenatchee 0
At Wenatchee, Cooper Bradley posted the shutout, stopping all 24 shots fired his way, as the Vipers blanked the Wild.
Teddy Wooding, Michael Young and Matt Kowalski, with an empty-net goal, scored for Vernon (13-15-6-3). The Vipers led 2-0 after the first period, with no scoring taking place in the second. Kowalski’s insurance marker came at 18:54 of the third.
Cal Sandquist stopped 18 of 20 shots for Wenatchee (22-12-2-0). The Vipers were 0-for-1 on the power play while the Wild were 0-for-3. The attendance was 2,241.
Langely 3, Salmon Arm 1
At Langley, the Rivermen scored three times in the third period to defeat the Silverbacks.
Trevor Ayre, Colton Kovich and Ethan Leyh, with an empty-net goal at 18:48, scored for Langley (17-18-1-0). Justin Wilson, at 15:03 of the second period, replied for Salmon Arm (17-15-14-0).
Matthew Armitage stopped 40 of 42 shots for Salmon Arm while Braedon Fleming turned aside 33 of 34 shots for Langley. The Silverbacks were 0-for-5 on the power play while the Rivermen were 1-for-3. The attendance was 607.
In BCHL action for Saturday, December 22nd, Penticton visits West Kelowna and Vernon is in Wenatchee again.
KOOTENAY INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
The KIJHL is on its Christmas break. Action resumes Thursday, December 27th with six games.
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