The Vernon Vipers took the Penticton Vees to overtime Wednesday night at Kal Tire Place, but the visiting team scored 1:07 into extra time to take the extra point. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon Vipers fall to division-leading Vees in overtime

Reilly Herbst made 44 saves as Vees defeated Vipers 2-1 in OT

The Vernon Vipers were glad to have defenseman Trey Taylor back from the CJHL Top Prospects game in Ontario in time for Wednesday’s battle against the Penticton Vees, but even with his services the team fell just short of two points.

The Snakes lost to the division-leading Vees 2-1 in overtime at Kal Tire Place. Goaltender Reilly Herbst was outstanding, stopping 44 of the 46 shots he faced.

JoJo Tanaka got the Vipers off to a quick start with a goal under two minutes into the game. The goal was assisted by Matt Kowalski, who was named BCHL player of the week after scoring seven points in two games last week.

The ice was slanted against the Snakes after the opening goal, with Penticton out-shooting Vernon 17-4 in the first period.

After a scoreless second period the Vees responded in the third with a goal from David Silye, who poked in a rebound to knot the score at 1-1. The Vipers narrowly missed a chance to re-take the lead as Connor Merritt That score would take the teams through regulation time and into overtime.

It was an explosive start to extra time as the Vipers put a puck to the Vees crease and tried in vain to put the rebound past Yaniv Perets. The Vees turned the other way and Jay O’Brien found Nico Somerville with a pass, who beat Herbst for the game winner 67 seconds into OT.

The Vipers secured a point from the loss, their 49th of the season, which helps them stay in front of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks who sit one point back with the same number of games played.

The Vipers will hit the road to take on the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday.

READ MORE: Vipers improve playoff chances with 2 weekend wins

WATCH: Vernon Vipers forward Matt Kowalski pulls off lacrosse-style goal

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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