(ISN) – VERNON, BC-The Penticton Vees start and end to the first period were at the opposite ends of the spectrum, as the Vernon Vipers erased a two-goal deficit en route to a 5-2 win in game three, at the Kal-Tire Place Tuesday.
Connor Chartier and Steen Copper scored inside the first four-minutes for the Vees, as they quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Vernon however rallied inside the final five-minutes, scoring three in a three and a half minute span, and never looked back, as they scored five unanswered in their first win of the series.
The Vipers win cuts the Vees lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven Interior Division Final, and snaps the Vees six-game win streak dating back to round one versus West Kelowna.
Number forty-eight for the Vees scored forty-eight seconds into the game. Chartier tipped Patrick Sexton’s point-shot through Danny Todosychuk’s wickets; Chartier’s fifth goal in as many games.
Cooper doubled the Vees lead three-minutes later after a scramble at the side of the Vernon net. Cooper was last to touch the puck, as he poked it underneath Todosychuk for his first of the playoffs at 3:58.
Riley Brandt spearheaded the Vipers comeback inside the final five-minutes. Brandt snuck a shot underneath Hunter Miska at the post at 15:47; his second is as many games.
Thomas Aldworth then tied it seventy-six seconds later, as he forced a wrist-shot through Miska’s arm from the slot; his third marker of the series.
Then the Vipers power-play put them ahead for the first time late in the opening frame. Luke Shiplo crept in from the point and from between the circles his wrist-shot beat Miska upstairs on the glove-side at 18:13.
Vernon padded their lead with a pair of goals in the second period. Liam Coughlin’s first goal of the post-season made it 4-2 Vipers six and half minutes into the second.
Hunter Miska was spelled off by Brendan Barry after that fourth goal. Colton McCarthy greeted Barry with the Vipers fifth goal, as he forced his shot five-hole at 13:02. Miska came back in after that and finished the game.
Final Score: 5-2 Vipers
Shots: 28-26 Vees
Power-Play: Vees 0-4 Vipers 1-3
Three Stars: 1) Liam Coughlin 2) Thomas Aldworth 3) Luke Shiplo
Tuesday was the Vees first loss since their opening playoff game against West Kelowna on March 3rd. It was also their first loss this season in Vernon, as they were 3-0-0-0 at Kal-Tire Place in the regular season. Looking ahead to game four, the Vees were 9-2-0-0 in the regular season coming off a loss.
The Vees look for a 3-1 series lead tomorrow night, Wednesday, March 18th, when they face Vernon in game four at Kal-Tire Place; puck drop is 7pm.