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Vees, Vipers play to thrilling draw

Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (10-5-1-2) and Vernon Vipers (14-5-0-4) played to a 2-2 draw for the second consecutive meeting Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre, but the game saw a plethora of chances for either team to take the game.

No scoring in the first period saw the Vipers outshooting the Vees 9-6, despite Penticton going 0-for-3 on the power play. The Vees had to kill off 1:03 of penalty kill time to start the second, but right after is when the game found it’s first goal.

Michael Ufberg took a pass at the left point and skated towards the net before letting the shot go. His wrist shot hit someone in front and beat Adam Scheel to give the Vipers the lead just 1:35 into the middle frame.

The Vees wasted no time in responding however. Grant Cruikshank found the puck along the right-wing wall and skated towards the slot before wiring home a wrist shot into the top corner to tie things up just 34 seconds later.

The game remained tied at one until late in the second when a 15 year old gave the Vees the lead. Owen Sillinger had the puck in the right-wing corner and spotted Jack Finley coming off the bench. Finley took the pass from just inside the zone and quickly let the one timer go, beating Ty Taylor blocker side through traffic.

The Vipers power play opportunities piled up as the game carried on, and shortly after their fifth chance expired they tied the game. Ufberg had the puck at the left-wing wall before firing it across the ice, spotting Jordan Sandhu who was able to beat a sprawling Scheel to tie the game with 10:43 remaining.

The Vees had a power play with under two minutes left in regulation, but couldn’t solve Taylor as the game went into overtime.

In the first overtime, Sillinger was robbed as he appeared to have a wide open net after Cruikshank was stopped. Taylor stretched out and was somehow able to get his toe on the shot to keep the game going.

Dakota Boutin was called for goalie interference just seconds after the huge save, but it was the Vees getting the past scoring chance. Sillinger got the puck after a turnover at the Vipers blue line and cut towards the slot from the right circle. His shot was stopped and play was blown dead as the officials signalled too many men on the ice.

After discussing at centre, the officials reversed the call and the game continued into double overtime. The chances continued to pile up for the Vees as they ended outshooting Vernon 9-2 over the extra 10 minutes.

Sillinger and Cruikshank came in two on one in double overtime but Cruikshank’s one timer was stopped by Taylor’s left leg.

Lukas Sillinger had one final chance for Penticton as he took a centring feed to the slot but Taylor swallowed up the shot with no rebound and the game came to and end with the final shots 36-33 Penticton.

The two teams now head to Kal Tire Place to meet in the back half of the home and home at 6:00 Saturday night.

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