VERNON — The Penticton Vees scored four unanswered, third period goals and came-from-behind down 3-0 in the 3rd period to defeat the Vernon Vipers by a 4-3 score on Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.
The Vees opened the game on the power play but it was the Vipers that gained momentum off of the penalty kill and helped Vernon to their first power play of the game later in the period as they opened the scoring on a man advantage at the13:08 mark of the opening period.
Coming just four seconds into their first power play of the game, Ryan Shostak pushed a pass off a face-off win from the left point to the right face-off circle where Reagan Milburn hammered a one-time shot past the glove side of an outstretched Kaeden Lane in the Vees goal to give Vernon a 1-0 lead.
The Vipers jumped ahead by a pair heading into the 2nd period with Shostak grabbing a goal of his own at the 17:37 mark. Luke Pakulak moved his way down the right wing and sent a pass to the left side just inside of the blue line to Shostak on the left wing as he stepped into the left face-off circle and beat Lane with a shot low to the glove side to push the Vipers ahead by a 2-0 score.
Penticton played a better 2nd period, creating a chance towards the end of the frame but it was the Vipers who extended their lead to 3-0 at the 11:14 mark of the middle stanza courtesy of Luke Buss. The Vipers forward cut into the high slot and moved to his backhand before sending a shot toward the goal that went off of a stick and past the blocker side of Lane to push the Vipers advantage to three goals.
Jackson Nieuwendyk had a terrific chance to get the Vees within a pair of goals late in the period, being fed in the right face-off circle from Stefano Bottini and just couldn’t get a piece of the puck as the Vees went into the 3rd period trailing by a three-goal score.
The Vees flipped a switch into the 3rd period, outshooting Vernon by a 19-4 margin and got within a pair of goals as Brett Moravec got Penticton on the scoresheet. A pass from below the goal line from Ethan Mann was sent to the front of the net as Moravec jammed in his 5th goal of the season and cut the deficit to two goals at the 4:53 mark of the final period.
It was Mann and Moravec who connected again for the second goal of the period and got the Vees within in a marker, after Josh Nadeau rang a shot straight off the cross bar from the slot moments before Mann tallied at the 12:01 mark.
The Vees were buzzing inside of the offensive zone and at the end of a sustained shift of offence, a scramble at the front of the net saw the puck loose on the blocker side of Vipers netminder Roan Clarke as Ethan Mann pushed the puck through the pile and collected his 6th goal of the season to make it a 3-2 game.
The 3rd period continued to show the Vees imprint on the game, forcing Vernon deep inside of their own zone and tied the game with the second goal of the game from Moravec at the 15:30 mark of the period while also extended their stretch of consecutive games with a power play goal to 13.
As their power play was coming to an end, Casey McDonald sent a slap shot towards the goal from the left point that was stopped by Clarke before the rebound jetted to Moravec in the right face-off circle, who buried his second goal of the game and 6th of the season to tie the game at 3-3.
Just over a minute after that, the Vees took their one and only lead of the game as Josh Nadeau pushed Penticton ahead. Anthony Allepot had his point shot redirected behind the net as Fin Williams made a strong pass from below the goal line to the blocker side of Clarke where Luc Wilson quickly touched it along to Nadeau, beating a down-and-out Clarke on the glove side for his 13th goal of the season and a lead of 4-3 with 3:38 to play in the game.
The Vees earned a power play late in the 3rd period that helped them salt away the one-goal, come-from-behind victory. Kaeden Lane was once again terrific in net, making many big stops in the opening two periods, turning aside 25 of the 28 shots thrown his way in his 10th win of the season while Roan Clarke made 34 saves on 38 shots in his 6th loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Vees
SHOTS ON GOAL: 38-28 Vees
VEES PP: 1/4
VEES PK: 1/2
1) Brett Moravec (2-0-2)
2) Luke Buss (1-1-2)
3) Ethan Mann (1-1-2)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Ryan Shostak (1-1-2)
The Vees (14-2-0-0) make their final trip North this season to take on the Prince George Spruce Kings (10-6-0-0) on Wednesday night from the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with the game being broadcasted live on Bounce Radio 800 as well as streamed on BCHLTV.ca beginning with the pre-game show at 6:40 PM.