Josh Latta of the Vernon Vipers tries to get the puck past Jack LaFontaine of the Penticton Vees in BCHL play Wednesday night at Kal Tire Place (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Penticton Vees stop Vipers 3-2 in overtime

B.C. Hockey League thriller between two rivals

Overtime has parlayed into misery for the Vernon Vipers this B.C. Hockey League season.

The Penticton Vees took a turn at swiping an extra point from the Vipers in a thrilling 3-2 victory before 1,618 fans Wednesday night at Kal Tire Place.

Eric Linell wired a slapper from the left point top cheddar past Vernon goalie Aidan Porter, on a power play, 32 seconds into overtime. Defenceman James Miller fed Linell as the Vees moved the puck around nicely playing four-on-three. Miller drilled a shot at Porter’s crest 17 seconds into the same man advantage. Linell leads the Vees with a dozen goals.

The Vipers have lost a league-high five overtime games and a pair of shootouts.

RELATED: Vipers brush back Vees

RELATED: Vees shut out Vipers 3-0

Penticton went on the power play with 1:49 left in regulation when Viper d-man Mitch Andres was assessed a boarding major and a game ejection after a push on Brendan Harrogate in the right corner of the Vernon zone.

“One thing we’ve been working on is getting quality shots to the net on our power play which has been struggling,” said Linell, a 20-year-old New York product. “Millsy had a great pass, we did some switches and I got to my one-time side and just ripped it top shelf.”

The Vees (11-6-1-2), who moved into a tie for fourth spot with the idle Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the tight Interior Division, forced OT when Ryan Sandelin buried a pass from Linell on a bang-bang play in front of Porter, 37 seconds into Josh Latta’s roughing minor. Latta got caught up with Jack Barnes on the sidewall near the Viper bench and Vernon fans did not like the call.

Linell, who was traded to Penticton from Surrey a month ago, loves the parity in the Interior.

“We talk about in the room during practice week. You’re a few points out of last place and a few points out of first place so it definitely pushes you a little more to win. Every game is big.”

It was the usual track meet between the two fast and skilled rivals with Miller breaking a scoreless tilt at 2:47 of the second period with a slapper from the left point. Massimo Rizzo and Linell drew assist on the power play (D Brandon Fuller was off for delay of game).

The Vipers struck back 40 seconds later when Ben Sanderson one-timed a beauty cross-ice pass by Jack Judson from the left hash mark. Coleton Bilodeau earned the secondary assist. Bilodeau took a hit from Sandelin with five minutes left in the second period and never returned. Sandelin was given an interference penalty.

The Vipers lost captain Jagger Williamson with an arm injury after he blocked a Miller howitzer on a second-period penalty kill. Williamson blocked a second Miller offering with his leg before seeking attention at the Viper bench. Williamson, a centre who returned for a few shifts on the wing, was headed to hospital to have his arm X-rayed after the game. His arm is not broken.

Vernon went in front early in the final period when Sebastian Streu deflected a point shot by Judson with 10 seconds left in Mason Snell’s tripping minor.

Streu, who will play for host Germany in the upcoming 2019 IIHF World Junior U20 Championship, says the Vipers are due for something good.

“It’s pretty much the story of our season, right?” said Streu. “So many injuries and lots of suspensions. We just haven’t had any lucky bounces which means they’re bound to come.”

Streu, who has four goals in eight games, wasn’t happy with the call on Andres.

“I was right behind the hit. Sure, it was a penalty, but you’ve got to know the situation of the game. He was already falling down which was unfortunate, obviously. I wouldn’t call it a five-minute major because that pretty much gives the game away.”

Best move of the night came on a penalty kill midway through the third when Latta used a dazzling head fake on Miller and cruised in for a quality chance on Vees goalie Jack Fontaine.

Vernon dipped to 8-6-5-2 for fifth place in the Interior.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

BC Transit incorporates North Okanagan route changes

Changes coming June 2 to routes in Coldstream and Armstrong

UPDATED 6:15 P.M.: Serious accident closes portion of Highway 6 in Vernon

Car and pickup involved in collision near Pottery Road just after 5 p.m.; detours around scene

Vernon baseball players land U.S. deals, help teammate battle cancer

Four Vernon players on Okanagan Athletics heading south to play ball at college

Vernon tattoo fundraiser draws tons of support

Lineup around the block for start and beginning of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Vernon Tigers, South Okanagan Flames play to wild draw

Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League match ends 17-17; overtime solves nothing

Weather holds up for Rutland May Days

60th annual May Day midway, market and entertainment saw hundreds of attendees

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

South Okanagan runners take top spots in Peach City RunFest

Both the top male and female half-marathon winners were from Penticton

Former Greyhound Canada employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

“Greyhound may take our jobs but they will never take our friendships,” says former bus driver

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Okanagan Springtime Regatta draws more than 50 sailboats

Sailors treated to windy, excellent long weekend conditions on Okanagan Lake in Kelowna

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read