Vees start Island roadtrip by toppling Grizzlies

Matthew Serratore plays hero for the Penticton Vees scoring overtime winner

Submitted by Fraser Rodgers

The Victoria Grizzlies head coach guaranteed a win Friday against the Penticton Vees, but that must have fallen on deaf ears, as the Vees came from behind to beat Victoria 4-3 in double-overtime at the ‘Q’ Centre.

Following a loss to Penticton on Oct. 18, Grizz bench boss Brad Knight guaranteed a win in the rematch in Victoria. Matt Serratore had other ideas as he potted his own rebound two-minutes into double-overtime, helping the Vees to season-series sweep.

It wasn’t the start the Vees envisioned as the hosts were staked to a two-goal lead in the opening period. Matt Kennedy opened the scoring when he rifled a shot from the left-circle at 12:45.

The Vees fell two-goals behind four minutes later after a turnover quickly ended up in the back of their net. Mitchell Barker took the puck away from the Vees defenceman behind the net and centered for an open PJ Conlon on the doorstep at 16:08.

Jack Ramsey cut the deficit in half late in the first when he got in behind the Grizzlies defence. On a Vees power-play, Mike Lee hit Ramsey up the middle and the rangy forward picked the corner over Michael Stiliadis’ shoulder at 17:59.

Riley Alferd evened things up in the opening seconds of the second. Alferd got a piece of Patrick Sexton’s point-shot and directed the puck up and over Stiliadis 38 seconds in.

The tie didn’t last long as the Grizzles grabbed the lead again just 44 seconds later. Brett Gruber was the beneficiary off a cross-ice pass from Garrett Forester, as he tapped the puck into an open net at 1:38.

The scored remained unchanged until late in the second when the Vees power-play flexed its muscle again. Gabe Bast brought the Vees back level for the second time when he forced the puck through Stiliadis’ legs. Alferd found Bast creeping in from the point and he snapped the puck five-hole for his second at 17:16.

There was no scoring in the third period despite some tremendous pressure from the Vees, who outshot the Grizzlies 15-8 in the frame. The Vees best chance was a three-on-one rush between Demico Hannoun, Patrick Newell and Lewis Zerter-Gossage. Newell tried to slide the puck back to Zerter-Gossage on a quick give-and-go, but the play was broken up at the last second by a defender’s stick.

After a scoreless four-on-four overtime period, Serratore threw on the hero’s cape once again. Serratore took a pass in the neutral zone and came into the Grizzlies end with speed. Serratore had his first attempt stopped with the pad, but forced the rebound through Stiliadis’ legs for his ninth two-minutes into double-overtime.

Shots: 42-27 Vees

Power-Plays: Vees 2-5 Grizzlies 0-3

Three Stars: 1) Michael Stiliadis 2) Riley Alferd 3) Patrick Sexton

The Vees are now 17-2-0-0 on the year and their road record moves to 9-1-0-0; they’re 3-0-0 against the Island Division. Newell extended his point streak to six games with an assist Friday; he’s now got 11 points during the streak. Ramsey led the way offensively, picking up a game high three points. Brendan Barry made 24 saves for his fifth win in as many starts.