Wade Murphy netted his second overtime winner, this time against the Powell River Kings to give the Penticton Vees a 4-3 win.
The Vees now lead the BCHL championship against the Kings 3-0. The Kings led 2-0 after one period on goals by Cohen Adair and Brendon MacDonald. Defenceman Troy Stecher got the Vees on the board in the second period. In the third, Adair helped the Kings regain their two-goal lead. Three minutes later Nick Buchanan got the Vees within one. Then with 17 seconds remaining, Joey Benik and Mike Reilly setup Travis St. Denis for the equalizer. In overtime, St. Denis then setup Murphy with the help of a diving play by Mike Reilly.
“We didn’t quit. We knew they were going to come out hard,” said Vees coach-FM Fred Harbinson. “They made a couple plays in first. We hung in, played better in the second. We wanted to win the second period.”
Harbinson said he could tell the Kings were starting to get tighten up and made huge play at end.
“We were pretty calm on bench the whole night,” said Harbinson.
Vees goalie Chad Katunar played great making 29 saves, while Kings goalie Sean Maguire made 23 saves in a losing effort.
Harbinson said Katunar made the saves he needed to, especially a big one in overtime.
Harbinson said the turning point of the game was when the Kings had chances to extend their lead to three and weren’t able to.
“I felt like they kind of sat back,” said Harbinson. “They stopped pressuring and let us make plays. We can’t take our foot off the pedal. That is an experienced team that doesn’t want to get swept.”
Harbinson wants to see him team play a more complete game.
Game 4 goes today at Hap Parker Arena in Powell River and the Vees have a chance to win the Fred Page Cup.
Harbinson confirmed that former Kings goalie Michael Garteig did indeed backup Katunar. The Prince George native practised before the team left. He will back up again tonight. Harbinson said he is ready to go, but not to start due to conditioning.
The Vees travelled to Powell River by plane as the cost wasn’t much different then taking the bus. Harbinson said it would be better to take a one-hour flight, rather than a 13-hour bus ride.