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Linell’s OT winner lifts Vees over Vipers

Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (11-6-1-2) went 3-for-6 on the man advantage Wednesday night en route to a 3-2 overtime win against the Vernon Vipers (8-6-5-2) on the road.

James Miller opened the scoring early in the second when his slap shot from the left point eluded all traffic in front. The goal was the 10th of the season for Miller in just 20 games.

The lead was short lived for Penticton, as Ben Sanderson took a rink-wide feed in the left circle just 40 seconds later and beat a diving Jack Lafontaine to even the game at one.

The score stayed that way until the third period with the Vipers on a power play that carried over from the second. Jack Judson let a shot go from the line that was deflected in front of the net by Sebastien Streau, giving Vernon a 2-1 lead 1:40 into the third.

Aidan Porter turned away shot after shot by the Vees as the game wore on, until Josh Latta was called for roughing on Jack Barnes with 6:14 to go in the game.

Penticton made the Vipers pay as Miller raced into the Vernon zone forcing the puck deep. Eric Linell gathered it on the goal line and sent a backhand centring feed to the net where Ryan Sandelin jammed it past Porter to tie the game with 5:37 remaining.

Vernon’s penalty trouble didn’t end there as Mitch Andreas was handed a five-minute major for boarding Brendan Harrogate with 1:49 to go. Harrogate went full speed into the corner boards, left the game and didn’t return.

While the Vees would have liked to finish the game off in regulation to not allow Vernon to get a point, it didn’t take long into overtime to cap off the victory.

Just 32 seconds into the extra frame, Miller and Linell crisscrossed at the point, allowing Linell to open ups for the one timer. He made no mistake, wiring the puck into the top corner over the blocker of Porter to seal the win for the Vees.

Penticton now gets set to host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (12-7-1-0) Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. It’s just the second meeting of the season between the two teams, Salmon Arm won 3-2 in a shootout at Shaw Centre October 12.