It was a tangle of the top two teams in the BCHL Saturday in Penticton, but it was the visiting Vipers who used five different goal scores to power them past the Vees 5-2.
This game started with some pace as both teams tried to set the tone. It featured a handful of solid body checks from both sides. Brett Stapley tested Adam Scheel early on, before the Vees started to get some good shots on Ty Taylor. Taylors best of the period came off a backhand from Taylor Ward as Ty used his noggin to make the save. The Vipers were the only team to find the back of the net in the frame as Niko Karamanis shot home a rebound from the slot to make it 1-0 with his 9th of the season. The Vipers killed off a Vees powerplay and would carry that 1-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes.
Lots of goals in the second period as Cameron Trotts shot from the right side bounced just across the line off the leg of a Vee defender. Lots of chances for the next 10 minutes as both teams used their speed and transition to generate opportunities. The Vees cut the deficit after a steal in the Vernon zone, Cassidy Bowes was set up in the slot to make it 2-1. A powerplay later for the Vipers resulted in the two goal lead being restored as Michael Young teed up a shot from the left circle to make it 3-1. That margin lasted 45 seconds as Owen Sillinger made it 3-2 on a powerplay as he walked out of the corner. The Vipers survived a great Penticton chance as they hit a goal post, then would promptly head down the ice and Derek Brown was able to slap home a bouncing puck at the left post to make it 4-2 in the final two minutes of the period. That’s the way it would end as the Vipers would start the 3rd up by two and on a powerplay.
The Vipers couldn’t convert on the powerplay despite a handful of chances, but when they lacked in goals, they made up for in momentum as they got their feet under them early. They smothered the Vee attack limiting Penticton to just 5 shots in the final period. The Vipers caused a turnover and Jesse Lansdell slapped home a rebound to make it 5-2 eight minutes through the period and that was all the scoring we’d see. The final horn sounded as the Vipers would skate away with a crucial win by a 5-2 score at the SOEC.
The Vipers road trip continues Friday as they travel to Powell River to take on the Kings at 7:15