Despite a strong start and forcing overtime, the Penticton Vees were unable to overcome the Cowichan Valley Capitals for the final game of 2019.
Jackson Niedermeyer helped the Vees to an early advantage, finding the rebound off an attempt from Nico Somerville and directing it past Capitals goalkeeper Zach Borgiel for his 11th goal of the season 2:49 into the game.
Unlike Friday’s shutout victory against the Powell River Kings, the Capitals came to Penticton with offence of their own. Less than a minute after the Vees opening goal, the Capitals struck back and tied the game.
The Capitals then took the lead for themselves with another goal 8:29 into the period, before doubling the lead another five minutes later at 13:11.
Nico Somerville narrowed the lead back down to end the first period with his first goal as a Vee, catching a rebound from Jack Barnes and finding the back of the net.
The second period lacked the breakneck pace of the first period, with the only goal coming for the Vees on a powerplay 11:37 in. Liam Malmquist entered double-digits for the season with his 10th goal off a pass from Conner Hutchison to tie the game back up.
The Capitals’ Borgiel had to be escorted off the ice just a few minutes later, after going to full extension to make a save and appearing to catch the unpadded back of his leg on the skates of a fallen Capital player behind him.
The third period saw a return to the high energy of the opening 20 minutes of the game. The Capitals were quick to retake the lead with a goal 53 seconds in, extending their lead once again to two goals seven minutes later.
The powerplay came through the Vees again, with Perets leaving the ice for a 6-4 that ended with Lukas Sillinger earning his 15th goal of the year off another rebound, this time from captain David Silye.
The nail-biting third period looked almost over, with Perets again leaving the ice in the last minute of play.
With only 10 seconds left in the game, the Vees found their way past the Capitals replacement goaltender Ben Howard to tie the game and force overtime. Lukas Sillinger passed to Danny Weight for Weight’s 17th goal of the year.
In the end, the game went to a seven-round shootout. Sillinger and Weight both found their way past Howard to score, but the Capitals’ Primo Self earned the final and deciding goal to get his team the victory.
Perets turned away four of seven shooters in his first shootout loss of the season, after blocking 29 of 34 shots in regular play.
The Vees end the year 27-10-1-1 as they head into their holiday break. They start up fresh on New Year’s Day with a game in Vernon against the Vipers at 2 p.m. The next Vees home game is on Dec. 4 against the Victoria Grizzlies, with the puck dropping at 6 p.m.
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