The Penticton Vees came up short against the Vernon Vipers in an overtime shoot out on Feb. 8 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The Vees were quick to take the lead in the first period thanks to a goal by Eric Linell, who made use of a rebound from a shot by Peter Muzyka. Muzyka would go on to be ejected from the game in the second for a five-minute blow to the hea major when he threw a heavy open-ice hit on Ben Hegelson.
Following the hit, Hegelson laid motionless on the ice for a few moments but was able to be helped off the ice. He did not return for the remainder of the game.
The Vipers were unable to make use of the their five minute power play, registering only one shot on net during that time. The Vees got a power play of their own when Ty Pochipinski was hauled down at his own blue line.
This man advantage allowed Massimo Rizzo to throw the puck to Mason Snell, who delivered a centring feed that hit a Vipers’ skate and slid past Aidan Porter makign the game 2-0.
After the first two periods, Jack LaFontaine was sitting at 24 saves. Rizzo took a slashing penalty in the offensive zone, giving the Vipers another power play.
This time, Vernon was able to put a point on the board thanks to a slap shot from Jack Judson that zipped over LaFontaine’s glove. The pressure was then on for the Vipers to tie the game and send it into overtime, a feat they acheived with just 17 seconds left in the game thanks to a goal by Lane Zablocki, who made use of a loose puck and got it over LaFontaine’s glove.
A mental error ended up costing the Vees the game when the puck was in the neutral zone and the two Vees on the backend didn’t see Zablocki behind them. He took a stretch pass leading to a breakaway, then slid the puck past LaFontaine’s left pad, ending the game.
The rematch for the teams is on tonight, Feb. 9, at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. The puck drops at 6 p.m.
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