Owen Sillinger lifted the Penticton Vees to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Vees lead the BCHL with six extra time victories. Sillinger scored on a wraparound 3:14 into the first overtime to put the crowd of 2,815 on its feet.
“It feels unbelievable,” said Sillinger, who scored his second game-winner of the season. “It feels good to help the team win.”
Sillinger beat Chiefs goalie Mark Sinclair with a wide shot under his pad after Jonny Tychonick fed him from behind the net.
Sillinger said it wasn’t their best game, but they battled.
The Chiefs nearly left the SOEC with two points when Kale Kane scored with 2:14 remaining as he beat Mat Robson high glove. The lead was short-lived when Chris Klack, down low at the side of the Chiefs net, fed the puck back to Nicholas Jones, who fired a shot past Mark Sinclair with 1:20 remaining in the game. It is his 12th of the season.
“We knew we had to battle hard,” said Sillinger when they trailed. “We just had to knuckle down.”
PENTICTON VEES GOALIE Mat Robson didn’t have a big work load, making 12 saves in 63 minutes, eight seconds of action.
Chiefs coach Jason Tatarnic said they are happy with the result after playing three games in four days. Tatarnic said they had a good first period and an alright second as they gave up several shots in the second (11-5) to the Vees, who were put on the power play six times in the match.
“That takes the momentum away,” he said of their time on the penalty kill.
Neither team could solve the goalies in the middle frame. Klack, who scored in the first period 18 seconds after Derek Osik opened the scoring at 3:27, nearly put the Vees ahead, but his shot just narrowly missed the net. Taylor Ward and Duncan Campbell also generated a couple of chances going hard to the net.
The Chiefs arrived in Penticton after losing 3-1 to the Trail Smoke Eaters at Cominco Arena. Connor Brown-Maloski scored twice in the third period. Cole Poliziani opened the scoring for Chilliwack on the power-play at 11:11 of the first, but Ross Armour got it back for Trail, also on the man advantage. The score remained tied until almost halfway into the third when Brown-Maloski got the winner and added an empty-net goal in the dying seconds. Zach Dyment made 35 saves in the victory while former Vee and Vernon Viper Brendan Barry stopped 30 for Chilliwack.
With the win, the Vees improve to 23-4-0, while the Chiefs are 18-7-4-0.