In a showdown of the league’s top-two teams, it was a hat trick for the second-straight night by Charlie Combs that spelled the difference in a 4-1 Wenatchee Wild victory over the visiting Penticton Vees.
Combs got on the board just 26 seconds into the game and followed up near the midway point of the first with what would be the game-winner. Shortly after that, Grant Cruikshank got the lone Vees goal on the night.
In the second period, Combs completed his natural hat trick at the 15:18 mark. Colin Burston rounded out the Wild scoring in the third. Anthony Yamnitsky made 15 saves for the win while Mat Robson stopped 44 in the Vees crease.
The West Kelowna Warriors snapped a seven-game slide with a 3-2 road win over the Cowichan Valley Capitals. After a scoreless first, Reed Gunville, Chase Dubois and Braiden Epp scored 2:58 apart in the second to provide all the offence the visitors would need. Rhett Kingston got the Caps on the board after that and in the third, Ayden MacDonald got their final tally but that’s as close as it got. Trevor Martin made 35 saves for the win while Adam Marcoux stopped 32 for the Caps.
Nic Ponaks’ goal, just after Surrey had scored twice to tie, was the winner for the Langley Rivermen in a 3-2 victory over the visiting Eagles. An Eric Butte goal in the first and a Brendan Budy goal in the second had the Rivermen up 2-0 heading to the third. Jordan Robert and Desi Burgart scored 29 seconds apart early in the third to tie the scored but Ponak came through with the winner just 53 seconds later. Bo Didur made 23 saves for the win while Michael Botiz stopped 27 for Surrey.
Niko Karamanis’ shorthanded goal in the third period stood up as the winner in a Vernon Vipers 3-1 home win over the Merritt Centennials. Keith Anderson got Vernon on the board in the second and it remained the only goal until a Merritt power play late in the third when Karamanis scored unassisted. Cade Gleekel broke Ty Taylor’s shutout bid with 1:03 to go but Anderson iced it with an empty-netter. Jacob Berger made 36 saves for Merritt while Taylor had 19 for Vernon.
Jamie Huber scored twice in the third period to help the Prince George Spruce Kings to a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the visiting Coquitlam Express. Jake Brien and Sam Kozlowski had the Express up 2-1 after one and Alex Ambrosio made it 3-1 in the second before Travis Schneider got one back for PG. They’d tie it in the third on Ben Poisson’s goal but Hayden Knight restored the Express edge for all of 11 seconds before Parker Colley tied it again followed by Huber’s pair. Reid Cooper stopped 50 shots for the Express while Stefan Worning got the win for PG making eight saves coming on in place of Tavin Grant in the second.
The Powell River Kings built a 3-0 lead and held off a late Alberni Valley Bulldogs rally for a 4-3 road win. Cam Donaldson and Kyle Betts scored in the first and Jonny Evans tallied in the second before Jake Witkowski got the ‘Dogs on the board. Ben Berard’s third-period goal proved to be the winner as Alberni clawed back with late markers from Trevor Cosgrove and Ryan Steele but couldn’t find the equalizer. Brian Wilson made 35 saves for win while Brody Claeys made 26 saves for the Bulldogs.
Timothy Friedman’s first goal, in his first BCHL game, 54 seconds into the third was the winner for the Victoria Grizzlies in a 4-2 road win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Connor Sundquist put the ‘Backs ahead but Tyler Welsh tied it late in the first. Nathan Looysen made it 2-1 Victoria in the second and Friedman provided the decisive goal early in the third. Jared Turcotte got one back for Salmon Arm but Welsh got his second to seal the deal shortly after. Trevin Kozlowski made 31 saves for Salmon Arm while Tony Rehm stopped 21 for his first win, also in his first BCHL game.