Connor Chartier put the Penticton Vees up 1-0 on the Vernon Vipers in the BCHL’s Interior Division final with his overtime heroics.
Chartier scored his third goal of the playoffs 2:11 into the second overtime when he tipped a Miles Gendron point shot over the shoulder of Jarrod Schamerhorn for a 4-3 Vees victory at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Vipers clawed their way back from a 3-1 deficit that started with the Vees taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Dante Fabbro at 6:02 of the first period and Jack Ramsey on the power play at 14:39. Anthony Latina chipped away at the lead in the second period when he got the Vipers on scoreboard with a tally at 8:47. Fabbro put the Vees up by two again nearly four minutes later on the power play, which went two-for-four for the Vees.
The Vipers knotted the game at three on back-to-back markers by Thomas Aldsworth, who scored his first with one second remaining in the second period. His equalizer came at 10:58 of the final frame. Ken Citron, Liam Coughlin, Jagger Williamson, T.J. Dumonceaux and Liam Finlay collected assists for the Vipers. For the Vees, along with Gendron, Mike Lee, Patrick Newell, Demico Hannoun, Chartier and Lewis Zerter-Gossage had assists.
The Vipers went 0-for-3 on their power play, which included one to start the first overtime.
Game 2 returns to the SOEC Sunday at 6 p.m. A crowd of 2,217 took in the opening game.
In other BCHL playoff action, the Chilliwack Chiefs have a 2-0 series lead on the Prince George Spruce Kings with 3-2 and 8-1 victories. The Nanaimo Clippers also have a 2-0 series lead with 4-2 and 2-1 wins.