The Chilliwack Chiefs top-line combined for six points and Mitch Gillam made 29 saves, as the Chiefs downed the Penticton Vees 4-1 Saturday at the SOEC. The win is the Chiefs first in the regular season in Penticton since returning to the BCHL last season.
Leading the way for Chilliwack was the trio of Josh Hansen, Austin Plevy and Luke Esposito who combined for two goals and four assists; the three manufactured the game’s first goal in the opening seconds. Plevy scored just 11 seconds into the first period, after the Chiefs dumped the puck into the Vees corner. Esposito won the foot-race to the puck and threw a pass out front, which made its way to Plevy at the far-post for a tap-in.
The Vees regrouped and leveled the game just before the six-minute mark after some great hustle from Jordan McCallum. The Summerland product pounced on a Travis Blanleil rebound at 5:48, notching his fourth of the season and second in as many games. The goal would send the teams to the intermission tied at one’s; the Chiefs out-shooting the Vees 10-8 in the period.
The Chiefs went ahead again in the second period on a power-play goal from Trevor Hills. Matt Tibbet played pass with Hills on the Vees goal-line before he centered the puck out front, which Hills put over the glove arm of Chad Katunar at 8:20. Jaret Babych increased the Chiefs lead late in the period when he converted on his own rebound at 14:13. Babych took a pass from the wall and buried the rebound past a down-and-out Katunar. The Vees trailing by two after forty-minutes despite out-shooting the Chiefs 13-12 in the middle frame.
Josh Hansen sealed the victory with his BCHL-leading 15th goal in the latter half of the third period. Hansen finished off a late-breaking two-on-one, when he banked in a pass from Esposito off Katunar and over the goal-line at 17:44.
FINAL SCORE: 4-1 CHIEFS
Shots: 30-28 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 0/6 Chiefs 1/1
Three Stars: 1) Mitch Gillam 2) Matt Tibbett 3) Jordan McCallum
Vees Notes: The Vees have now dropped back-to-back games for the first time since the 2010-2011 season. The setback is the Vees first regulation home loss since February 4th, 2011; a stretch of 39 games.
Up Next: The Vees look to snap their two-game winless streak when they battle the Merritt Centennials, Friday, November 9th at the SOEC. The first meeting of the regular season between the two Interior Division foes; puck drop is 7pm.