With a single loss, the Vees headed into the final game of the Okanagan Cup’s round-robin stage with the best record.
The Vees, coming off a 4-0 win in Vernon on Nov. 6, finished with a commanding 6-3 score capped off with a buzzer-beating final goal.
The Vees held a 10-1 victory record heading into the game, while the Vipers had recorded 3-5-1-2.
Both teams started out strong defensively, with four shots on goal by the Vees and five by the Vipers come the end of the first period.
The Vipers led the scoring, with Tyler Carpendale and Jojo Tanaka-Campbell netting two back-to-back goals against Vees’ Yaniv Perets with just 2:20 left in the first.
The Vees were quick to retaliate, with Quinn Hutson scoring against Vipers’ Kobe Grant, just 20 seconds later, assisted by Jacob Quillan and Owen Murray.
The pace was faster in the second period and the scoreboard recorded eight more shots on net by Vernon and 10 from Penticton.
Hutson tied the game 2-2 for the Vees with his second of the night, off assists from Joshua Niedermeyer and Murray, 12:19 into the second period.
Vees’ Jacob Quillan made it 3-2 for the home team, his third of the cup, with just over three minutes left in the period.
Halfway into the third period, Hutson earned a hat-trick, his ninth goal of the tournament. He was assisted by Quillan and Stefan Bottini.
Two goals down, Vernon capitlized 33 seconds later, when Tyler Carpendale picked up his second of the night in an unassisted goal, making the score 4-3.
Less than a minute later, the Vees continued to keep the pressure on the Vipers, with Devlin O’Brien picking up his first goal of the night and sixth of the tournament, assisted by Frank Djurasevic.
O’Brien found the time for one last goal in the final second of the game to put the Vees up 6-3. He was assisted by Finlay Williams and Luc Wilson.
Both teams wrapped up the final period with eight shots apiece, for a total of 21 from Vernon and 22 from the Vees that night.
Vees goalkeeper Perets recorded 18 saves, marking his fourth win of the tournament, while Vipers’ Grant recorded 16.
The Vees will return to the ice again on Nov. 13, when the semi-finals of Okanagan Cup begin.