The Penticton Vees struck back with their power play, picking up a 4-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers in B.C. Hockey League playoff action Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Vees went 3-for-8 on the man advantage getting goals from Mitch Meek, Nicholas Jones and Taylor Sanheim. Sanheim netted the winner with 1:12 remaining in the second period. Sanheim’s goal came 23 seconds after the Vees killed off the last 4:30 of a Vipers five-man advantage in which the visitors scored 30 seconds into the major penalty assessed to Gabe Bast.
“It was huge. It kind of gave us a little bit of relief,” said Harbinson of Sanheim’s goal. “When you get that five-minute major, you lose a defenceman. Maybe they go and score a couple of goals on it. Instead we get out of it even. I just thought our guys were pretty resilient. I thought we did a good job on the rest of the kill.”
The Vipers clawed back in with a pair of goals on 11 shots in the middle frame. Jesse Lansdell tipped a point shot by Jimmy Lambert who skated the puck high in the Vees zone before letting off a light shot. It is the first goal of the playoffs for Lansdell. Past the midway mark, Bast took Jagger Williamson hard into the boards. He was also assessed a game misconduct. Williamson, who returned to the Viper lineup briefly from injury, was helped up and was taken to the dressing room. He tried to comeback but couldn’t continue. Thirty seconds into the power play, Chris Jandric fed Cameron Trott in his wheelhouse. The six-foot-two, 205-pound blueliner unloaded a cannon that beat Robson high glove.
“It was a tough loss. We didn’t come out like we wanted to in the first period and they took advantage of that,” said Viper defenceman Michael Ufberg. “We took a couple of penalties and were down right away, but I think we did a good job coming back. It just wasn’t our night. That’s alright. We’ll take this one, learn from it and move on to the next one. We came in here and grabbed one and we just gotta make sure we’re ready for Monday night.”
Sanheim’s goal came after Jones rang a shot off the post. The rebound went to the former Calgary Hitmen, who fired the puck into a gap between Darion Hanson and the post. Nash iced the game as he took a few whacks at the puck, which eventually crossed the the line.
”I thought we played a lot smarter than yesterday that’s for sure,” said Campbell. “We put the puck deep and got in on the forecheck. Overall a pretty good performance. We were a little pissed off after what happened yesterday. We kind of got cheated out of a possible win. We didn’t play to our full potential.”
In the opening period the Vees came out with jump. They outshot the Vipers 12-9 and capitalized on two power plays. The first was by Meek, who got the puck from James Miller who took a massive hit to make a play. Meek fired a wrist shot from the hashmarks to beat Hanson. Seven minutes later, Bast was at the blueline and fed Chris Klack near the boards. Klack put it towards the net and Jones tipped it by Hanson.
“He (Miller) made a heck of a play. You have to take a hit sometimes to make a play and we scored a big goal on it,” said Harbinson.
Harbinson said they will send tape on the hit that Bast delivered on Williamson. If it holds up, the defenceman will miss the next two games Monday and Tuesday nights at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. Ufberg said the hit was cheap.
“We didn’t think it should be a major,” said Harbinson.
In other BCHL action, the Victoria Grizzlies defeated the Chilliwack Chiefs 2-0 to even that series.