The Penticton Vees came into tonight’s Game 5 with their backs against the wall, on the brink of elimination, trailing 3-1 in their opening-round series to the Cowichan Valley Capitals. In a must-win game, they needed their top players to step up and that’s exactly what they did. Team captain Massimo Rizzo had two goals and two assists, David Silye chipped in with three points himself and goaltender Jack LaFontaine stopped 26 of 27 shots as the Vees skated to a 4-1 win to force a Game 6 on Monday.
After a scoreless first period, Rizzo scored twice in less than four minutes to start the second to give Penticton the lead. David Melaragni got Cowichan Valley on the board with a shorthanded goal at the 8:50 mark, but Silye replied with a power-play goal to make it 3-1 after two. Lukas Sillinger scored the Vees’ second power-play goal of the game just over a minute into the third and that’s all the offence they would need as the game ended 4-1.
Pierce Diamond made 27 saves for the Caps in a losing effort. Despite the loss tonight, Cowichan Valley will have two more chances to pull off the upset as they get ready for Game 6 on Monday night in Duncan.