The host Express ended the Vees’ three-game winning streak in a big way and took the lead in the overall standings with 7-2 victory over the visitors.
Penticton came out on fire in the opening 10 minutes, hemming the Express in their own end, including a Vees power play that generated just three shots, all of which Express goaltender Clay Stevenson stopped.
Greg Lapointe drew first blood for the home team, banging a rebound past Penticton netminder Yaniv Perets at 13:54, the only goal of the period.
Lapointe got his second in a row a minute into the middle frame and Connor Gregga upped the count to 3-0 four minutes later after Penticton took a double minor for high sticking.
The Vees began to chip away at the lead shortly afterwards as captain David Silye netted his ninth of the season at 14:23.
The game turned ugly in the third period with both teams racking up a total of over 60 minutes in penalties including four fighting majors, two game misconducts and three misconducts. The Vees took nine of the 14 penalties in the period.
The Express scored three unanswered goals, including a pair of power-play goals in the first 10 minutes. Penticton’s only score of the final period was Tyler Ho’s unassisted, shorthanded goal at 14:52.
Coquitlam wrapped up the scoring with just over a minute left in the game.
Goaltender Carl Stankowski came on in relief Perets in the third period, the pair facing 31 shots in total, while Stevenson stopped all but two of the 27 Penticton shots he faced.
The Vees were unable to score on four power-play chances while the winners cashed in on half of their six chances.
The Vees (21-6-1-0) remain in first place in the Interior Division and are one point back of Coquitlam in the overall standings, the Express having a game in hand.
Penticton returns to home ice on Friday night for another matchup against a Mainland Division foe as they welcome the Chilliwack Chiefs (12-8-4-1) to the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Puck drop is 7 p.m. with tickets available at the SOEC Box Office as well as online at ValleyFirstTix.com.
The team won’t return to action after that until Nov. 27 when they play host to the Prince George Spruce Kings.
Mark Brett | Reporter
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