(ISN) – NANAIMO, BC-The two top offenses in the BCHL squared-off Saturday in Nanaimo but the fireworks had to wait till the end, as the Nanaimo Clippers edged the Penticton Vees 3-2 in overtime at Frank Crane Arena.
Nanaimo’s Jake Jackson was the overtime hero, scoring sixty-four seconds into the four-on-four period, as the Clippers handed the Vees their first overtime loss of the season.
Coming into Saturday’s game Penticton and Nanaimo were one-two in league scoring but the two teams held each other in check for forty-six minutes. The scoreless tie was finally broken early in the third when the power-play got the Vees on the scoresheet.
After a mad scramble in the Clippers crease, Lewis Zerter-Gossage poked in a loose puck at 6:35 to put the visitors ahead. Cody DePourcq was initially stopped in the crease but the puck squirted to Zerter-Gossage who tapped-in his tenth at 6:35.
The lead was short lived, as the Clippers tied the game just thirty-three seconds later. After the Vees couldn’t cash in on an odd man rush, Nanaimo went back the other way and on a two-on-one, that saw Sheldon Rempal surprise Hunter Miska with a shot along the ice at 7:08.
The score remained unchanged until late in the third when the Clippers found their first lead of the game. Nicholas Gushue’s shot from the right-wing boards had eyes for the net, as it snaked its way through traffic and underneath the cross-bar at 15:36.
The Vees power-play was clutch Friday in Victoria and again Saturday in Nanaimo. Down 2-1 inside the final two-minutes of the third, the Vees were given a four-minute power-play after Jarod Hilderman was cut open on the chin with a high-stick.
With the goalie pulled in favour of an extra-skater for the six-on-four man-advantage, Riley Alferd found the loose puck in the Nanaimo crease and forced it over the goal-line at 18:51 securing at least the single-point for the visitors.
The Vees started overtime with a four-on-three power-play that carried over from the double-minor called against Nanaimo late in the third. The Vees scored once on the extended man-advantage but couldn’t produce the game-winner in the extra frame. Nanaimo killed-off the remaining time on the penalty and then quickly transitioned to offense.
Off a face-off in the Clippers zone, the puck made its way to Jake Jackson who rushed the puck up ice with a head full of steam. Jackson cut down the middle as he entered the Vees end, splitting the two defensemen before snapping a puck underneath the pad of Miska at 1:04 to send over thirteen fans home happy.
Final Score: 3-2 Nanaimo (OT)
Shots: 42-36 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 2-7 Nanaimo 0-3
Three Stars: 1) Jake Jackson 2) Lewis Zerter-Gossage 3) Guillaume Decelles
The Vees record slips to 17-2-0-1 with the setback and their overtime record drops to 3-1-0. Saturday marked the first loss for the Vees to an Island Division opponent this season (3-0-0-1). Patrick Newell had his six-game point streak come to an end in the overtime loss. Saturday was the Vees eleventh game in the last 23 days, going back to October 17th.
The Vees conclude their Island Division road trip Sunday afternoon in Duncan, when they face the Cowichan Valley Capitals in a matinee affair; face-off is 2pm.