November 24, 2012, PENTICTON, BC (ISN) – Ryan Renz scored just his second goal of the season early in the third, and Austin Smith made 26 saves, as the Vernon Vipers scored a 2-1 win over the Penticton Vees Friday. The victory is the Vipers first against the Vees this season and first at the SOEC in over two years.
Before Friday, the Vipers last won at the SOEC in October of 2010; thirteen months between victories. Vernon was 0-5-1-0 in their last six visits to Penticton.
The two teams held each other scoreless in the first period despite combining for 20 shots on goal. Brad McClure had the Vees best chance on a partial breakaway, but lifted a back-hand over the net; McClure had Vipers goalie Austin Smith at his mercy.
The Vipers best scoring chance in the opening frame came of the stick of Michael Roberts. The Vipers forward was turned aside by the leg of Chad Katunar on an eye-popping goal-line save.
The visitors did break the goose-egg eight minutes into the second period on a miscue in the Vees end. Chad Katunar got caught out of his net, as he attempted to race down a loose puck in the circle. Katunar hesitated and Aaron Hadley skated around the Vees netminder, scooped up the biscuit and put it into an open net at 7:59.
The Vees didn’t waiver after the peculiar scoring play and manufactured the equalizer in the dying moments of the period. Louie Nanne tracked down a puck in the neutral zone, raced in behind the defense, and flipped the puck over the blocker of Austin Smith at 19:53; Nanne’s eighth with just six and a half seconds left in the period. The play started when Wade Murphy threw the puck out to an open wing at centre for Nanne to race onto.
Just like after the first period, the two teams were all even heading into the third.
Vernon went ahead for the second time just past the four-minute mark in the third period. Ryan Renz wired a wrist-shot from between the circles at 4:07 putting the Vipers up 2-1; a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Brendan Persley drove the net from the corner and the puck rattled around in skates before popping out to Renz in the slot, whose shot went glove-high on Chad Katunar; it would stand up as the game-winner.
Final Score: 2-1 Vipers
Shots: 27-26 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 0-3 Vipers 0-3
Three Stars: 1) Austin Smith 2) Ryan Renz 3) Chad Katunar
Vees notes: With an assist tonight, Wade Murphy now has points in 19 of the 20 games he’s played; his point-streak ended at 17 games on November 17th. Louie Nanne now has three goals in his last two games and five points in as many games.
Prior to tonight, the Vipers last win at the SOEC was on October 22nd, 2011 a 5-0 victory. Friday was the Vees first loss to Vernon in four games, dating back to November 2nd, 2011.
Up Next: The Vees head to Vernon tonight to face the Vipers in the back-half of the home-and-home series; face-off is 7pm. The Vees next home game is Wednesday, November 28th when they host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks at the SOEC. Tickets are available at the Valley First box office at the SOEC, or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com