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Junior hockey: Vees, Warriors, Silverbacks start season on winning notes

A round-up of junior hockey results from the Okanagan and area.

The Kelowna Rockets will open their season on Saturday night, as they host the Portland Winterhawks at Prospera Place.

On Friday night, Portland opened its season with a shutout win, as they blanked the Kamloops Blazers 3-0.

Gabe Klassen, with two goals, and Marcus Nguyen, who made it 2-0 five minutes into the second period, scored for Portland (1-0-0-0).

Dante Giannuzzi was also perfect between the pipes for Portland, as the Winterhawks outshot the Blazers 38-24. Dylan Ernst made 35 saves for Kamloops (0-1-0-0), which will host the 2023 Memorial Cup next spring.

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Portland was 1-for-1 on the power play, while Kamloops was 0-for-5. Friday’s attendance was pegged at 4,485 – well below the arena’s listed sellout capacity of 6,400.

The last time the Blazers were in the Memorial Cup was 1995 when they hosted and won the tournament. It was also their second straight tournament appearance and victory, having also won the 1994 Cup in Laval, Que.

Friday’s results

  • Red Deer 5, Edmonton 2
  • Saskatoon 5, Prince Albert 2
  • Prince George 5, Tri-City 1
  • Moose Jaw 5, Regina 4
  • Calgary 2, Swift Current 1
  • Seattle 4, Vancouver 3
  • Spokane 7, Victoria 5

Saturday’s games (all times PT)

  • Winnipeg at Brandon, 5 p.m.
  • Swift Current at Calgary, 6 p.m.
  • Lethbridge at Medicine Hat, 6 p.m.
  • Regina at Moose jaw, 6 p.m.
  • Tri-City at Prince George, 6 p.m.
  • Edmonton at Red Deer, 6 p.m.
  • Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 6 p.m.

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At Penticton, the defending champion Vees opened their season with a statement, as they hoisted four banners to the rafters, then beat the tar out of Trail.

Brett Moravec, with two goals, Josh Nadeau, Spencer Smith, Callum Arnott, Dovar Tinling and Aydar Suniev scored for Penticton (1-0-0-0), which led 2-0 and 5-0 at the period breaks. Josh Niedermayer also reached the scoresheet with three assists.

Adam Parsons replied for Trail (0-1-0-0), which was outshot 46-22 before a crowd of 2,990 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Luca Di Pasquo made 21 saves for the Vees. For the Smoke Eaters, starter Cold Tisdale stopped 29 of 34 shots before giving way to backup Teagan Kendrick, who stopped 10 of 12 shots in relief.

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The Vees were 3-for-4 on the power play while the Smoke Eaters were 0-for-2.

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At Salmon Arm, the Silverbacks opened their season on Friday night by shutting out the Vipers.

Matthew Tovel was unbeatable in goal, stopping all 36 shots he faced, while Isaac Lambert, Nathan Mackie and Ethan Ullrick scored for Salmon Arm (1-0-0-0), which led 2-0 after 40 minutes following a scoreless first period.

Lambert opened the scoring at 6:32 of the second, with Mackie making 2-0 with a shorthanded marker four minutes later at 10:30. Ullrick closed out the scoring at 19:24 of the third with an empty-net marker.

Roan Clarke took the loss in goal for the Vipers (0-1-0-0).

Penticton was 3-for-4 on the power play while Trail was 0-for-2.

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At Duncan, the Warriors opened their season on a winning note, as they edged the Capitals.

Matthew Fusco had both of his team’s goals, back-to-back markers in the first period to make it 2-0 after 20 minutes. Justin Katz made 26 saves for West Kelowna (1-0-0-0).

Luke Strickland, with a power-play marker at 19:12 of the third, replied for Cowichan Valley (0-1-0-0). McCoy Bidewell stopped 48 of 50 shots for the Capitals.

West Kelowna was 1-for-4 on the power play while Cowichan Valley was 1-for-2.

Friday’s results

  • Prince George 3, Coquitlam 0
  • Cranbrook 5, Merritt 2
  • Nanaimo 4, Powell River 2
  • Alberni Valley 3, Victoria 3
  • Surrey 5, Wenatchee 4 (SO)
  • Chilliwack 3, Langley 2

Saturday’s games (all times PT)

  • Nanaimo at Powell River, 5 p.m.
  • Cranbrook at Penticton, 6 p.m.
  • Salmon Arm at Vernon, 6 p.m.
  • Alberni Valley at Cowichan Valley, 7 p.m.
  • Trail at Merritt, 7 p.m.
  • West Kelowna at Victoria, 7 p.m.

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Friday’s results

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  • Fernie 6, Golden 2
  • Columbia Valley 6, Kimberley 3
  • Revelstoke 9, 100 Mile House 0
  • Sicamous 4, Chase 1
  • Nelson 2, Princeton 1
  • Grand Forks 6, North Okanagan 5
  • Summerland 3, Kelowna 0
  • Castlegar 3, Creston Valley 2 (SO)

Saturday’s games (all times PT)

  • Creston Valley at Kimberley, 6 p.m.
  • Osoyoos at Beaver Valley, 7 p.m.
  • Princeton at Castlegar, 7 p.m.
  • Nelson at Grand Forks, 7 p.m.
  • Summerland at Kelowna, 7 p.m.
  • Kamloops at Chase, 7 p.m.
  • 100 Mile House at Sicamous, 7 p.m.

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