PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
PENTICTON, B.C. – Jacob Quillan played the hero in overtime as the Penticton Vees captured the inaugural Okanagan Cup with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Vernon Vipers on Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
A bit of a feeling out process opened this game as each team looked to settle into the game and get their footing early on. Penticton jumped ahead in the shots on goal department, leading 6-1 at one point in the period before the Vipers would be first to strike in the opening frame and jumped ahead by a 1-0 score.
A turnover inside the defensive zone allowed Reagan Millburn to center a pass from the right-wing corner as Ryan Shostak received the pass in the slot, firing a shot that was kicked out by the right pad of Vees goaltender Yaniv Perets before Shostak jumped on his own rebound and beat Perets through the legs at the 9:54 mark of the opening period to give Vernon a 1-0 lead.
The Vees quickly countered, just over three minutes later, and evened the score at the 13:59 mark off a face-off. Ethan Martini sent a pass to the right-wing corner where Tyler Ho quickly sent a pass from below the goal line on his backhand to the slot where Tristan Amonte gathered and snapped a shot over the shoulders of Vipers netminder Koen MacInnes for his 4th Okanagan Cup goal and tied the game at 1-1.
The 2nd period did not generate much in the way of chances for either team with just eight shots being thrown to the net combined between the two sides. Yaniv Perets had to make the most difficult save of the period on a deflection from the slot off a Griffen Barr attempt at night. Kjell Kjemhus got the loose puck and chopped it toward the goal as Perets grabbed it with his glove to stop play.
The Vees mustered just three shots on goal in the period with Koen MacInnes turning aside 12 of the 13 shots he faced through 40 minutes of play while Perets stopped each of the five shots thrown his way in the middle stanza and denying 9 of the 10 shots he saw through two periods of play to keep the game 1-1 heading into the 3rd period.
Penticton collected their first lead of the game at the 6:44 mark of the 3rd period as Matteo Costantini pushed his team in front with his 6th goal of the Okanagan Cup. Costantini got the puck in the left face-off circle and sent a backdoor pass off a Viper in front of the net and past the glove side of MacInnes to give the Vees a 2-1 lead.
Penticton’s penalty kill came up in a big spot with just under five minutes to play, not allowing the Vipers to find the back of the net but shortly after that, Will Arquiett came off the bench and faked a slapshot before stepping inside the right face-off circle and moving to his backhand, finishing over the blocker side of Perets at the 17:47 mark to even the score at 2-2 and send the Okanagan Cup Final to overtime.
After a big Perets save on Josh Prokop, the Vees turned the puck the other way as Connor Bouchard dropped a puck inside the left point where Jacob Quillan gathered the loose puck and snapped a shot through MacInnes for his 5th goal of the tournament and helping the Vees capture the inaugural Okanagan Cup.
Yaniv Perets turned aside 17 of the 19 shots he faced in his 9th Okanagan Cup victory while Koen MacInnes stopped 20 of the 23 shots thrown his way in his 2nd overtime loss of the tournament.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 Vees (OT)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 23-19 Vees
VEES PP: 0/5
VEES PK: 4/4
1) Jacob Quillan (1-0-1)
2) Connor Bouchard (0-2-2)
3) Will Arquiett (1-0-1)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Tristan Amonte (1-0-1)
The Vees will take two weeks off ahead of the BC Hockey League’s regular season, set to commence in early December. Stay up to date with all Vees news though the team’s website as well as the social media channels, Twitter (@PentictonVees), Facebook (@PentictonVees) and Instagram (@penticton.vees).