(ISN) – PENTICTON, BC- Lewis Zerter-Gossage couldn’t have picked a better time to snap out of a scoring slump. Zerter-Gossage scored his first goal in 12 games late in the third period, as the Penticton Vees pulled out a 3-2 win over the Vernon Vipers at the SOEC Saturday.
Zerter-Gossage scored the game-winner with less than seven-minutes left in the third period, as the Vees (43-9-3-2) won their fifth game in a row. Hunter Miska took home first star honours, as he turned aside 39 of 41 Vipers shots. Tyson Jost and Dakota Conroy also scored for the Vees, who finish with six wins in seven games against Vernon this season.
Thomas Aldworth and Antony Latina scored for Vernon (36-18-1-3) who dropped their second consecutive game after a 4-2 loss to Salmon Arm last Saturday.
With the game tied 2-2 late in the third, Steen Cooper centered the puck to an open Zerter-Gossage, who quickly put a backhand deke past a prone Danny Todosychuk at 13:23; LZG’s 18th goal of the year and first since January 11th against Prince George.
Vernon came back from a 2-0 second period deficit, as Aldworth (power-play) scored late in the second to cut the deficit in half, and Latina scored midway through the third to bring the Vipers back level.
Tyson Jost broke a scoreless tie in the final seconds of the first period, as he took a Patrick Newell pass and from the slot, stick-handled down the middle and snapped a low shot past the outstretched arm of Vernon’s Todosychuk at 19:35; his team-leading 23rd goal of the season.
Dakota Conroy doubled the Vees lead in the opening minutes of the second period, as he cleaned up a rebound in front of the Vernon net. Zerter-Gossage had his point-shot stopped but Conroy, with his back to the net, scored his 13th to double the Vees lead at 2:46.
Hunter Miska was terrific for the Vees, as he stopped all 15 first period shots faced and 24 of the final 26 shots that came his way in the final forty-minutes. His best save was a pad stop on Liam Finlay on a Vernon three-on-one rush. With the Vees clinging to a 2-1 lead late in the second, Finlay looked to have an open net but Miska lunged across with his leg to get a piece of the one-timer to preserve the then one-goal lead.
Final Score: 3-2 Vees
Shots: 41-33 Vernon
Power-Play: Vees 0-6 Vernon 1-5
Three Stars: 1) Hunter Miska 2) Lewis Zerter-Gossage 3) Thomas Aldworth
A capacity crowd of over thirty-three hundred fans packed the SOEC, for “Crack the Code” night; no one walked away with the 2.5 million dollar home. The Vees improve their record to 25-7-1-1 against the Interior Division; their home record now stands at 24-3-1-0. The Salmon Arm Silverbacks lost Friday to Merritt and need to beat the Vees tomorrow at the SOEC, to secure the fourth and final playoff spot in the Interior.
Saturday is the Vees regular season finale, as they host the ‘Backs at the SOEC; puck drop is 6pm. Saturday is the Vees annual Awards Night, as they will hand out their team awards immediately following the game.