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Preview: Vees, Vipers meet in Vernon looking for a winner

 

Penticton, BC: For the second time in as many meetings, 70 minutes between the Penticton Vees (10-5-1-2) and Vernon Vipers (14-5-0-4) wasn’t enough to find a winner as the two battled to a 2-2 draw at the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday night. Now the two meet at Kal Tire Place for a 6:00 game looking for a winner.

Penticton was given three power-play chances in the opening frame, but couldn’t make the Vipers pay. The shots ended 9-6 in favour of Vernon after the opening period, with 1:03 of power play time carrying over to the second for the Vipers.

Shortly after the man advantage expired the Vipers opened the scoring as Michael Ufberg’s shot from the slot hit a Vees player in front and got past Adam Scheel.

Just 34 seconds later Grant Cruikshank found the puck in the right circle and skated to the slot before firing it top corner over Ty Taylor’s glove to even the game.

Inside the final five minutes of the period the Vees would take the lead. Jack Finley, a 15-year-old affiliate player, was making his junior hockey debut Friday and he made it count.

Owen Sillinger had the puck in the right wing corner before spinning and spotting Finley coming off the bench. Sillinger fed the puck to the point and Finley wasted no time letting the shot go which then got through traffic in front of the goal and beat Taylor blocker side.

The lead carried into the third period and through another power play chance for Vernon, but just like their first goal, they scored shortly after it ended.

Ufberg had the puck on the left wing wall and found Jordan Sandhu with a rink-wide feed to the left circle. Sandhu corralled the puck before lifting it over an outstretched Scheel to tie the game with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Penticton had a power play chance with under two minutes to go in regulation, but couldn’t take advantage as the game went into overtime.

Through the 10 minutes of extra time, the Vees outshot Vernon 9-2 with half of them being high quality scoring chances. Sillinger and Cruikshank had a two-on-one rush with Cruikshank getting robbed on the pass to the right wing.

Sillinger appeared to have a wide open net on a rebound chance but Taylor managed to stretch out and get his toe on the shot to keep the game going.

Lukas Sillinger had the final chance to end it after taking a pass in the slot, but Taylor came up with one final save to ensure the game ended 2-2. The three games between Vernon and Penticton has seen the Vees outscore the Vipers 7-6.

It was the second tie of the year for Penticton, while Vernon has played in four games without a winner being named. Vernon’s four ties puts them first in the league in that category.

The Vees are 1-0 following a tie this season while Vernon is 1-2.

Tonight’s broadcast with Craig Beauchemin can be heard on EZ Rock AM 800 with the pre-game show beginning at 5:40. You can also listen online by clicking on this sentence or watch on a pay-per-view basis at www.hockeytv.com.

Team Statistics

Leading Scorers

Penticton Vees

Owen Sillinger – 6 G 10 A 18 GP

Nicky Leivermann – 2 G 13 A 17 GP

Dakota Boutin – 6 G 5 A 18 GP

Vernon Vipers

Brett Stapley – 14 G 19 A 23 GP

Jimmy Lambert – 9 G 21 A 21 GP

Michael Ufberg – 5 G 20 A 23 GP

Special Teams

Penticton Vees

Power Play – 17.0% (12th in BCHL)

Penalty Kill – 88.1% (1st in BCHL)

Vernon Vipers 

Power Play – 21.5% (T-4th in BCHL)

Penalty Kill – 81.7% (10th in BCHL)

Season Series

October 6, 2017 – Vees 3 vs Vipers 2 Boxscore

October 7, 2017 – Vees 2 @ Vipers 2 Boxscore

November 10, 2017 – Vees 2 vs Vipers 2 Boxscore

November 11, 2017 – Vees @ Vipers

December 9, 2017 – Vees @ Vipers

February 10, 2018 – Vees vs Vipers

 

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