Despite a valiant effort, the Penticton Vees fell to the Vernon Vipers last night 2-1 in overtime at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
It was a scoreless first period for Penticton, uncharacteristic considering their previous games this season, but the Vipers were able to get one past Vees goalie Yaniv Perets at the 10:49 mark thanks to a power play. Matt Kowalski fired the puck from below the goal line to the net, where it caught some air time off a stick and was knocked down by Brett Fudger, who chipped it past Perets’ blocker side.
The Vees had multiple opportunities to tie the game throughout the following frames, but the best chance came at the end of the first when Tristan Amonte was stopped by Vipers goalie Reilly Herbst. Captain David Silye spied Amonte on Herbst’s blocker side and made the pass, only for Herbst to come across and make the save with his right pad.
Penticton continued to bring the heat, out-shooting Vernon 21-10 in the second frame, but it still wasn’t enough to get past Herbst, who denied Jackson Niedermayer during a power play opportunity. Silye sent the puck to him from the right face-off circle but Herbst blocked the shot by Niedermayer with his right shoulder.
The Vees were finally able to get the puck past Herbst and tie the game at 11:37 in the final period, thanks to Alex DiPaolo and Danny Weight. Weight circled the net wide on the right wing and swung around to the front where he took his shot, which was blocked by Herbst but DiPaolo was there for the rebound and knocked the loose puck in on the goalie’s blocker side.
This would send the game into overtime, where the Vipers put the pressure on Perets with Kowalski and Cameron MacDonald both finding nearly-perfect opportunities to score. Vernon would take the win at the 3:45 mark in overtime when the rebound of a shot blocked by Perets was pushed past the goal line by Christian Felton.
Overall, Perets turned aside 26 of 28 shots and Herbst stopped 39 of 40. It’s a double header for home games this weekend, with the Penticton Vees taking on the Nanaimo Clippers tonight at 6 p.m.
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