Troy Stecher’s celebration for his first BCHL goal was a beauty, there was just one problem.
It was too little too late as the Penticton Vees lost 3-2 at the South Okanagan Events Centre to the Vernon Vipers. The Vees rookie defenceman found the back of the twice with 5.6 seconds left in which he dropped low to the ice for a fist pump but it wasn’t enough time to give the Vees a chance at the equalizer.
“It was nice, except when you don’t get two points it doesn’t matter,” said Stecher, who thanks to captain Derik Johnson will have the puck he scored his first goal with as a keep sake.
The Vees surrendered the opening goal to the back-to-back RBC Cup champions 6:57 in as John Knisley cut to the net and found a hole in Vees goalie Joel Rumpel. Less then a minute later, Trevor Fitzgerald potted the winner. While the Vees outshot the Vipers 25-23 they didn’t generate many scoring chances. Their only other goal came on the power play when Joey Holka made no mistake while left alone in the slot.
“I was disappointed in some guys not competing for the pucks and spotting a two-goal lead,” said Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson. “It’s tough to come back from a two-goal deficit in this league.”
Harbinson said that desperation from his team came when it was too late. He wants to his players win battles for the puck and not scoring goals. He was also unhappy to see goals scored in situations that could have been prevented. In other Vees news, 1991-born defenceman Lane Werbowski has joined the fold from the Edmonton Oil Kings. The six-foot, 188-pound blueliner also played for the Tri-City Americans.
The Vees will look to turn their fortunes around on Saturday when they travel to Vernon in the Wesbild Centre. Check Wednesdays issue of the Western News for more Vees coverage.