It was a back and forth affair at the Hap Parker Arena Friday night (Feb. 17) as the Vernon Vipers defeated the Powell River Kings 6-5 in a shootout.
Goaltender Ethan David stopped 34 of 39 shots he faced for the win while Lee Parks had a four point night, the first of his career.
Despite the loss, the Kings battled back all night, erasing deficits on four different occasions.
Parks opened the scoring early in the first period moments after a powerplay expired. Towards the middle of the period, Reagan Milburn extended the Vipers’ lead to 2-0 on a goal assisted by Hank Cleaves.
Goals by Karter McNarland and Anthony Yu got the Kings back to even in the second, but late in the period, Cleaves scored his ninth goal of the season to make it 3-2 Vipers heading into the third.
Starting off an offense-filled third period, Jack Blanchett scored his 12th goal of the season 2:55 into the frame. The goal came on the powerplay.
The Vipers then capitalized on a powerplay of their own when Julien Facchinelli put home his eighth goal of the season.
Once again, Powell River came back to equalize, this time courtesy of a goal by Adam Mendelson.
With under two minutes to go, Parks scored his second of the night and 17th of the season to make it 5-4 Vernon.
That late goal wouldn’t prove to be the game winner, however, as with 46 seconds left in the game Ryder Ringor scored to send the game to extra time.
No one scored in the overtime period, sending the teams to a shootout.
In the shootout, David stood tall stopping all three shots by the Kings. Connor Elliot was the hero for the visiting team, making good on his shootout attempt to give his team the 6-5 win.
The Vipers are chasing the Wenatchee Wild in the BC Hockey League Interior division standings. Wenatchee also won Friday night, keeping them one point ahead of the Vipers, who have 44 points in 42 games with a 20-18-0-4 record.
The Vipers are on the road again tonight (Feb. 18) as they take on the Nanaimo Clippers at 7 p.m.