Penticton Vees forward Spencer Smith (left) tries to hold up Vernon forward Copeland Fricker during the Vees’ 4-3 BCHL overtime win over the Vipers Wednesday, Feb. 9, at the South Okanagan Events Centre. (Cherie Morgan Photography)

Penticton Vees forward Spencer Smith (left) tries to hold up Vernon forward Copeland Fricker during the Vees’ 4-3 BCHL overtime win over the Vipers Wednesday, Feb. 9, at the South Okanagan Events Centre. (Cherie Morgan Photography)

Penticton Vees edge Vernon Vipers in overtime

Penticton wins eighth straight BCHL game; snaps Vipers’ win streak at 9

Braden Doyle’s goal at 3:14 into overtime gave the Penticton Vees a 4-3 B.C. Hockey League win over the Vernon Vipers in front of 2,500 fans Wednesday, Feb. 9, at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

It was the Vees’ eighth consecutive win and their 300th regular-season win at the SOEC. The loss snapped Vernon’s nine-game winning streak. The Snakes picked up 13 of a possible 14 points on their season-long seven-game road swing which ended Wednesday.

The two points vaulted Penticton (29-6-0-2) into first place in the Interior Conference, one point ahead of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (28-6-2-1), who lost 4-2 at home to the Prince George Spruce Kings Wednesday.

The single point moved the sixth-place Vipers (16-14-4-3) to within three points of the Cranbrook Bucks, and the two teams will play a pair of games in Vernon this weekend.

Doyle was the game’s first star but the night belonged to Vernon goalie Roan Clarke, who earned second-star honours for his 53-save performance.

Casey McDonald gave the Vees a 1-0 first-period lead, burying a rebound past Clarke.

Zack Tonelli got Vernon on the board in the middle frame 44 seconds after the ice clean, putting in a nifty pass from Reagan Milburn past Penticton goalie Kaden Lane, who finished the game with 18 saves.

Spence Smith gave the home side the lead at 13:32, and Aydar Suniev – the game’s third star – scored his first BCHL goal at 18:18 to give Penticton a 3-1 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.

Luke Pakulak got both Vernon goals in the third period, including the equalizer in the game’s final minute.

The Vees had the only shots in the extra frame, putting four shots on goal and collecting their eighth win in a row as Braden Doyle played the hero. Adam Eisele won the face-off and got the puck to the high slot as Doyle buried a shot off the post and in past the blocker side of Clarke for his 1st BCHL goal 3:14 into the overtime period for a 4-3 triumph

The Vees look to extend their win streak to nine games as they travel to the West Kootenays to take on the seventh-place Trail Smoke Eaters (16-18-1-1) on Saturday night at the Trail Memorial Centre.

Vernon and Cranbrook will play Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.

• Former Salmon Arm Silverback Ben Street had a goal and an assist, and former Vernon Viper Adam Tambellini had one helper, as Canada beat Germany 5-1 in its opening game in men’s hockey Thursday, Feb. 10, at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

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