The Powell River Kings perfect record after the Christmas break is over after the Kings were unable to take advantage of a solid opening 20 minutes on the road in Penticton, falling 5-3 to the Vees on Friday night at the SOEC.
An early Penticton powerplay saw the Vees take an early lead as James Miller’s point shot found a tip from Eric Linell between the circles for his 23rd of the season and a 1-0 lead. The Kings got the goal back 5 minutes later as Matt Rickard passed over to Ryan Brushett on the right wall with a bit of room, he threw a puck to goal and had it bank in off Miller’s skate and past goaltender Derek Krall for a 1-1 game on Brushett’s league-leading 29th of the season.
Penticton retook the lead 3 minutes later through a similar play to their opening goal, this time Miller’s shot from a near identical spot on the ice found its own way through, his 18th and a 2-1 game.
The Kings went to the powerplay late in the period and Powell River took advantage, with Christian Buono passing out to the slot area as Neal Samanski had a chance, it was Levi Glasman to control and sneak a puck through Krall for his 14th and a 2-2 game through 20. Shots 13-9 Powell River.
Into the 2nd and the Vees began to take control, first by scoring early in the frame through Luke Loheit, then limited Powell River’s chances offensively. Ethan Schmunk again tied the game at 3 midway through the frame after Ryan Brushett guided a puck to net, however a nice individual effort from Loheit gave Penticton their final lead of the game. The Vees added a fifth goal in the third, the 2nd of the game for Linell and won by a score of 5-3. After 13 shots in the first period, the Kings managed just 10 for the final 40 minutes, while Mitch Adamyk turned aside 35 of 40 in the loss.
The Kings continue their 3-game road trip on Saturday night in Salmon Arm against the Silverbacks, who are coming off a loss in Vernon on Friday night.