A shot through traffic by Vernon Vipers defenceman Ryan Renz ended up being the winner against the Penticton Vees.
The BCHL Interior Division rivals met up Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre for the first of a home-and-home series and the Vipers returned to Vernon with a 2-1 win.
Aaron Hadley opened the scoring eight minutes into the second period as he fired the puck into an empty cage. Vees goalie Chad Katunar had turned over the puck while attempting to get rid of it.
Katunar’s mistake was erased when Troy Stecher and Wade Murphy set up Louie Nanne for a goal with six seconds remaining in the period. Displaying his skating abilities, Nanne cut to the front of the net and made Vipers goalie Austin Smith think he was going to go back hand. Nanne then switched to his forehand and flipped the puck top shelf for his eighth goal in 19 games.
It was a tight defensive game with plenty of hits. Renz scored his winner with traffic in front of the net four minutes into the third and the Vees finished the game down a man when Murphy, who extended his point streak to 20 games, was given a penalty for tripping during the last minute of play.
Katunar finished with 24 saves on the night, while Smith turned aside 26 in the Vipers cage for the win. They will face each other again Saturday in the Wesbild Centre.
On Friday morning, the Vees announced they had filled their 22-man roster with forward Jordan Boultbee. The Penticton native played two games with the Vees as an affiliate player and made his official debut wearing number 10.
Boultbee joined the Vees from the Summerland Steam of the Kootenay International Hockey League. In 20 games, Boultbee tallied seven goals and 22 points to lead his team. Last season the 18 year-old played for the Penticton Lakers, scoring 11 goals and collecting 30 points in 50 games.
“Jordan’s game centres on hard work, and he has proven to us he can play at the junior A level,” said Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson in a press release. “We’re thrilled to add another Penticton native to our lineup and know he will proudly represent their hometown.”