Gavin Gould netted the winner 1:21 into overtime as the Merritt Centennials earned a 3-2 comeback win over the Vernon Vipers in B.C. Hockey League action Friday night at Kal Tire Place.
Capping a two-goal, first-star performance, Gould got inside position on a pair of Viper defencemen and converted his second attempt from netminder Austin Smith’s doorstep on a feed from Scott Patterson.
Vernon, now 1-2-1-2, turned in a solid first period and opened the scoring on the powerplay as Mason Blacklock went roof daddy on Connor LaCouvee after taking a slick back pass from Dallas Calvin at the side of the net.
Craig Martin gave Vernon a two-goal cushion when he cruised through the slot and got wood on TJ Dumonceaux’s centering feed from the corner.
Luke Pierce’s Centennials (3-4) began clawing their way back in the second period when a Viper missed a defensive assignment, allowing Gould to walk to the top of the circle and beat Smith, top shelf.
Payton Schaefer collected the equalizer on a goal-mouth scramble at 14:02.
LaCouvee, making his Centennials’ debut after being picked up from the AJHL Grande Prairie Storm earlier this week, finished with 32 saves. He started the season with Mike Vandekamp’s Nanaimo Clippers.
Smith was steady in making 36 stops for the Vipers.
Vernon hosts the Penticton Vees Wednesday at Kal Tire Place, and then heads to Surrey Friday for the first leg of a weekend home-and-home with the Eagles.
Check out Wednesday’s sports section in The Morning Star for the complete story on Saturday’s action.