A 4-0 win at the South Okanagan Events Centre Tuesday night pulled the Penticton Vees within a win of the Vernon Vipers in the Interior Conference final.
Matt Paltridge’s opening goal was all the Vees needed to win Game 3 and cut the Vipers series lead to 2-1. Paltridge put a shot on net through traffic that beat Vipers goalie Graeme Gordon. Denver Manderson started the play by winning the draw back to the Vees blueliner.
Manderson then did all the work on the Vees’ second goal at 11:12, nearly six minutes after Paltridge’s marker, as he drove to the net and was piled into Graeme leaving a loose puck for Jake Johnson to tap in.
It was a physical affair as neither team was holding back hits. After the first period, the Vees led 2-0 with 11 shots on goal.
In the second period, their only goal came from Ryan Viselli, who won a battle along the boards and fed a backhand pass to the front. Instead of the puck finding a Vees player, it hit Kevin Kraus and went in. After two periods of play the Vipers outshot the Vees 24-19.
In the third period, Manderson scored into an open net to seal the game as the Vipers pulled Gordon in favour of the extra attacker with 2:15 remaining. Manderson checked the puck away from a Viper defender and hustled toward the net for the easy goal with 1:11 left on the clock. The Vipers outshot the Vees 13-6 but had few quality chances against Vees goalie Sean Bonar. The Vees netminder was named the first star as Bonar collected his second playoff shutout. Game 3 goes Wednesday in the SOEC at 7 p.m. Check Friday’s issue of the Penticton Western News for more Vees coverage.