April 2, 2013, West Kelowna, BC (ISN) – Brock Balson has moved the Penticton Vees within one win of their second consecutive Interior Conference Championship.
Balson scored the game-winner, his second of the night, midway through double-overtime, as the Vees came back to edge the West Kelowna Warriors 5-4 Monday in game three. The Vees now have 3-0 series lead in the best-of-seven series and have a chance to sweep the Warriors Tuesday night.
Balson put a quick shot over the arm Tyler Briggs from the slot at 9:47 of the second overtime period. Travis Blanleil broke down the right-wing before centering a pass to a streaking Balson, who’s wrist-shot got over the blocker of a lunging Briggs.
Balson finished what he started so to speak, as he scored the Vees third goal midway through the third to spur on the comeback attempt. Down 4-2 to start the period, Balson scored on the power-play at 9:23 after he tucked-in a loose puck in the crease from his knees.
Brad McClure forced overtime in dramatic fashion, as he tied the game inside the final minute of regulation. With the net empty, McClure got just enough of a loose puck in the crease during a mad scramble, to slide it underneath Tyler Briggs at 19:09; McClure’s third goal of the series.
Despite the two-goal deficit in the third, the Vees got off to a good start in in the game. Louie Nanne put the visitors ahead when he pounced on a juicy rebound in the right-circle. Wade Murphy’s original shot from up-top was stopped but the puck was fumbled by Briggs and fell to Nanne for his fourth of the playoffs at 3:02.
Nanne doubled the Vees lead at 11:36 of the first when he fired a shot, off the rush, over the glove of Tyler Briggs. Nanne was given a drop pass in the slot on a Vees odd-man rush and didn’t waste the opportunity.
The Warriors responded with two quick goals of their own; the first from David Pope at 17:21. Pope finished-off a nice passing play between himself, Marcus Basara and Seb Lloyd, as his quick shot beat Chad Katunar from the circle. Matt Anholt tied the game at two’s just forty-four seconds after Pope lit the lamp. Anholt made the most of his own rebound right out front, squeezing the puck just through Katunar’s legs.
The Warriors rode the momentum into the second period and got an early goal and again it was Pope doing the damage. Chad Katunar stopped the first shot from the outside but the rebound was right to Pope who was waiting at the post for a tap-in at 1:13.
There was a scary moment when Brad McClure was hit in the head from behind in the corner boards by Marcus Basara at 3:29. McClure laid on the ice for quite some time before retiring to the dressing room; Basara was given a two-minute minor and ten-minute misconduct. McClure would return near the midway mark of the third period.
Ambrose Ferkus put the Tribe up by a pair of goals on another controversial play. Firkus caught the Vees flat-footed and walked in from the right-wing and tucked a backhand through Katunar’s five-hole at 13:29. The Vees were incensed on the play that there was no penalty after Sam Mellor was wrestled to the ice at the other end of the rink moments earlier.
FINAL SCORE: 5-4 VEES
Shots 58-49 Warriors
Power-Plays: Vees 1-2 Warriors 0-1
Three Stars: 1) David Pope 2) Wade Murphy 3) Matt Berry
The Vees Cam Amantea and Mike Rebry did not play due to injury. Brad McClure now has a goal in each of the first three games of the series. Ryan Gropp extended his point streak to four games with a pair of assists. Louie Nanne pushed his point streak to seven games.
The Vees can clinch the series and the Ryan Hatfield Memorial Trophy; with a game four win tomorrow night at Royal LePage Place. Game four is slated for 7pm and you can listen to all the action starting at 6:40pm with the pre-game show on EZ Rock AM 800.