(Photo: Matthew Murnaghan / Hockey Canada Images)
Taylor Sanheim made the most of his return to the Penticton Vees line-up on Monday night, netting the overtime winner in the Vees 3-2 win over the Cobourg Cougars at the RBC Cup.
Sanheim chipped in the game-winner, 6:29 into OT, getting the Vees their first win at the RBC Cup and in the process, vaulting them into second place behind the Brooks Bandits.
Sanheim finished off a great, no-look, backhand pass from Nicholas Jones, as he managed to get it up and over Stefano Durante at the side of the goal. Jones made a great play to shake off a defender before firing backhand pass over to Sanheim with his back to the goal.
It was another strange start, as the Vees, for the second straight game, benefited from an own goal in the first period. Taylor Ward got credit for the opening goal, just 24-seconds into the first period, after a Cougar clearing attempt from behind the goal banked in off Durante.
That goal held up until late in the second period, when the Cougars tied it up after some hard work down-low. Spencer Roberts managed to jam the puck in between Mat Robson and the post at 16:57. That goal may be given to Sanheim, as it appeared he was the last Vees to touch it before it went it.
The Vees took the lead back in the third period and early, as Chris Klack squeezed a shot from the slot through Durante’s legs at 2:49; Klack took a drop pass from Duncan Campbell from the top of the circles. However, that lead wouldn’t hold as the Cougars battled back late again.
After Penticton was called for an inference penalty late in regulation, Brennan Roy had his shot from the wing deflect in past Robson with just over three-minutes left to tie it up. Roy’s tying marker coming when the Cougars’ power-play was about to expire.
Early in overtime, Cobourg had a great chance to end it, but Robson made an excellent save, jetting out his blocker to get a piece of a blast from the right-wing.
Griffin Mendel almost won the game for the Vees before Sanheim, as he was sprung on a breakaway on a pass from inside his own zone. Mendel, coming onto the ice after a line change, took the pass at the Cobourg blue-line but he couldn’t get his backhand deke to slide through the goalie’s legs; he was also stopped on his own rebound attempt.
On the game-winner, the Vees worked the puck down behind the net, before the puck came back out to Jones in the circle. The Vees Captain, without turning his head, put a backhand pass onto the tape of Sanheim right at the far-post. The veteran forward managed to wedge the redirect up and over top of Durante for his first of the tournament.
Final Score: 3-2 Vees (OT)
Power-Plays: Vees 0-2 Cobourg 1-5
Player of the Game: Vees- Griffin Mendel Cobourg- Stefano Durante
Game Notes: The Vees (1-0-1) picked up their sixth overtime win of the playoffs Monday; Sanheim is the fifth Vee to score an OT-winner in the post-season. Robson now leads the tournament in goals-against average (1.89) and save percentage (.939).
The Vees are off Tuesday, before facing the Trenton Golden Hawks (0-1-1) on Wednesday afternoon (3:30 pm ET / 12:30 pm PT). The game can be heard on EZ Rock AM 800, or fans can watch the free webcast on www.hockeyTV.com