The Penticton Vees missed their shot at the series sweep over the West Kelowna Warriors with a 2-1 overtime loss Tuesday night.
Penticton came into the game with a 3-0 series lead and looked to advance to the second round of the BCHL playoffs after running over the Warriors with a 9-2 win on March 1, but the Warriors played their best game of the season and fought back from a 1-0 deficit to win in overtime.
Penticton head coach Fred Harbinson said ahead of the game that they knew the Warriors were not going to quit. Now, the Vees will host the Warriors for game five in Penticton Wednesday night.
In the lowest scoring game of the series, it was a battle of the two goalies with West Kelowna’s Johnny Derrick and Penticton’s Yaniv Perets keeping their respective teams in it by being the best players on the ice. But, it was West Kelowna’s Tyler Cristall who would beat Perets for the game-winning goal in overtime.
After nearly escaping the first period with a clean sheet, a Warriors’ mistake in the dying minutes of the first period led to Penticton’s Lukas Sillinger grabbing his first goal of the post-season to give the Vees a 1-0 lead.
After the first goal, the Warriors tightened things up on defence; eliminating the turnovers and committing no penalties. Meanwhile, the Vees stuck to their game plan of playing with speed and looking to break out in transition.
Both Perets and Derrick continued to be the best players on the ice in the second period making 13 saves each.
West Kelowna’s Ryan Novecosky scored the Warriors’ biggest goal of the season nearly five minutes into the third period to tie the game 1-1 and prolong their potential elimination from the playoffs.
The Warriors and Vees would go back and forth throughout the third, trading shots, hits, chances and momentum but the game would head to overtime as Derrick and Perets played stellar to keep the game tied.
Less than four minutes into overtime, Warriors’ captain Jake Harrison made a play to keep the puck in the Vee’s zone and the puck ended up on Tyler Cristall’s stick who make no mistake to blast it past Perets and give the Warriors the win and bring the series to 3-1.
Perets would finish the game with 37 saves while Derrick had 39.
The Vees host the Warriors Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
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