Vernon, BC: The Penticton Vees (34-14-2-2) needed a strong rebound performance against the Vernon Vipers (23-20-7-3) Saturday night, and got just that as they routed the Vipers 8-2 at Kal Tire Place.
Ty Pochipisnki opened the scoring 1:38 into the game, jumping on the rebound of Carson Kosobud’s shot from the line for his second of the year.
Both teams had multiple chances to find the back of the net throughout the first period, but both goaltenders came up with saves on odd-man rushes and Lukas Sillinger rang the goal post late.
Early in the second the Vipers tied the game. After the Vees turned the puck over at the red line, Vernon came in on a 2-on-0 rush. Teddy Wooding took a pass and beat Jack LaFontaine on the blocker side 1:55 into the second.
The lead didn’t last long as the Vees offence came to life. Brendan Harrogate sent a puck to the slot from the left corner that glanced off Luke Loheit’s stick. It came to Jack Lagerstrom in the right circle and he wired a shot into the top corner just 1:15 after the tying goal.
Off the ensuing face-off, a scramble occurred in front of the Vipers net and Evan McIntyre found a loose puck, beating Bradley Cooper for goals just 14 seconds apart to make it 3-1.
Two minutes later, while on the power play, David Silye scored from the top of the right circle to give the Vees a 4-1 lead.
Less than two minutes after Silye’s goal, Carson Kosobud leaned into a slap shot from the left circle beating Cooper on the blocker for his first goal as a Penticton Vee. The goal ended the night for Cooper who was lifted for Aidan Porter.
Penticton added to their lead before the period was over as Cassidy Bowes grabbed the puck off the rush. After Harrogate’s shot was blocked, Bowes skated down the slot uncontested and beat Porter under the glove for a shorthanded goal. The Vees lead 6-1 after two periods.
McIntyre added his second of the game early in the third, finding another loose puck in the crease while on the power play to make it 7-1.
The Vipers ended the onslaught on a strange play. After a blocker save by Lafontaine off the rush, a crowd formed in front of the net. LaFontaine fell to his stomach and the puck appeared to bounce over his body and come out the other side into the corner.
The goal light came on but the official never signalled a good goal. After play continued for another minute before stopping, the officials convened in front of the penalty box and discussed for two minutes before calling it a good goal.
Penticton got the goal back late when Massimo Rizzo set up Kosobud for his second of the game with just over three minutes remaining to make the final score 8-2.
With the win the Vees maintained their three-point lead atop the Interior Division after Merritt’s win over Nanaimo. Penticton is next in action Wednesday against the Trail Smoke Eaters.