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It certainly wasn?t easy, but the Penticton Valley First Vees have earned a berth in the Interior Conference Final by defeating the Vernon Vipers 5-2 in a Seventh-and-Deciding Game, Tuesday night at the Memorial Arena.


The Valley First Vees let a Three Games to One series lead slip away, however, managed to get the job done in their first ?do or die? scenario of this season?s playoffs.


Penticton came out of the gate strong, building a 2-0 advantage on goals by Cory Schneider and Brett Hextall.  Mind you, by the end of the first period, the Vipers were able to trim the deficit to 2-1.


Denver Manderson and Zack Josepher had the only two goals of the second period to put the Valley First Vees ahead by a rather commanding 4-1 score following 40 minutes of play.  


Vernon tallied late in the third on the powerplay, before Manderson?s second of the game into an empty net made sure the Vipers? season was over.


Alex Evin snapped a two game skid by earning the victory in net, stopping 24 of 26 shots.  Penticton outshot Vernon 32-26 overall, including 12-5 in the final period. 


The game featured the expected high intensity of a Game Seven, with just five minor penalties called against the Valley First Vees and four minors handed the Vipers.


Quite a few more spectators than the announced crowd of 2,105 jammed the Memorial Arena.  It was standing room only with reserved tickets having sold out by late morning.


Next up for the Penticton Valley First Vees is the Best-of-Seven Interior Conference Final versus Westside.  The Warriors came back from Three Games to One to eliminate the Salmon Arm SilverBacks with a decisive 5-1 home ice win on Tuesday night. 


It?s not as if travel is going to be an issue in this series with the two teams only about 45 minutes apart. 


Game One goes Friday night at 7:00 in Penticton, with Game Two also set for the Memorial Arena, Saturday night at 7:00.







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