Aydar Suniev’s first-career B.C. Hockey League hat trick helped the Penticton Vees down the Wenatchee Wild on Friday night in a spirited affair (Dec. 16) at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
In a game that featured eight misconducts, one fight and the ejection of Wenatchee head coach Chris Clark, the Vees cruised to a 7-2 victory against their rivals to the south.
Penticton watched its 24-game winning streak end at the hands of Wenatchee (12-14-0-2) on Dec. 9.
Suniev, the current frontrunner to capture the BCHL’s rookie of the year award, completed his hat trick 11 minutes into the final frame on Friday night to extend his team’s lead to 6-1.
Along with the 18-year-old rookie, Brett Moravec, Josh Niedermayer, Beanie Richter and the recently-acquired Nic DeGraves also found the back of the net.
Penticton (26-2-0-0) goaltender Hank Levy made 16 saves and recorded his eighth victory of the year.
The Vees took a 3-0 lead into the third period before scoring more times and having forward Ben Brunette engage in a fight with the Wild’s Dane Westen.
DeGraves, meanwhile, scored Penticton’s final marker of the night. It marks his first goal in a Vees uniform since he was dealt to the team in a three-team trade on Nov. 30.
Penticton forward Josh Nadeau was presented with his BCHL Player of the Month Award for November before the start of the game.
The Vees are back in action Saturday night when they battle the West Kelowna Warriors (16-8-4-0) on the road.
West Kelowna is currently the Interior Division’s third-place squad, sitting one point behind the Cranbrook Bucks.
Puck drop on Saturday (Dec. 17) is at 7 p.m.