LANGLEY, BC-It took a power-play goal with just over one minute left in regulation to finally end the Penticton Vees impressive win streak. Max Kaufman broke a 2-2 tie with 20-seconds left, as the Langley Rivermen edged the Penticton Vees 4-2 Friday night, at the Langley Events Centre.
The loss ends the Vees 23-game win streak, as they were handed just their second regulation loss in 25-games; the Vees first loss since the season opener, way back on September 11th.
Tyson Jost scored and finished with two-points in the loss and his line-mate Scott Conway scored the Vees’ only other goal. Zach Driscoll was handed his first loss in his ninth start, as stopped 26 of 29 shots in a losing effort.
Penticton got off to a slow start and the Rivermen capitalized. Zach Masson put the home team ahead just past the 10-minute mark after he cleaned up his own rebound. Masson was stopped on his initial wraparound attempt but slid in the rebound at the side of the goal at 10:33.
As mentioned it was a sluggish start, as the Vees at one point were outshot 10-2 in the first half of the game.
However, the power-play got the Vees back on level terms late in the opening period. The puck came to Jost in the slot and he fired a rocket into the top corner that sent the water bottle flying; the Captain bagging his 22nd at 18:54.
The second was the Vees best period, as they outshot the Rivermen 15-9 but couldn’t pull away. Penticton did grab their first and what turned out to be their only lead, seven and a half minutes into the middle stanza.
Jost cutoff a clearing attempt along the boards and passed it out to Conway in the middle. Conway then spun to his forehand and as he did, fired a wrist-shot into the corner over Bo Didur’s at 7:39; Conway picking up his 18th.
The lead lasted just under a minute and a half as the Rivermen came back to tie it shortly after on a man-advantage.
Langley’s Dominic Franco tipped in a centering feed in front of the net, which just fluttered over Driscoll’s blocker at 9:05. The shot actually first bounced off a Vees defenseman in front, changing direction, before tumbling into the goal.
On that same Rivermen power-play the Vees had a great chance to go up 3-1. Owen Sillinger was sprung on a partial breakaway by Nicholas Jones but was stuffed by the poke-checking Didur. A short scramble ensued after and Jones was unable to force the rebound in past the fallen netminder.
Just like after the first, the two teams were tied after forty-minutes.
The game was deadlocked at 2-2 and overtime was looming before the Rivermen were handed a late power-play, after Penticton was called for high-sticking.
Langley benefited from a lucky break, literally, on the game-winner. The defenseman at the point had his stick break in two as he let go a slap-shot, forcing the puck to dramatically change speeds. On its way to the net, the puck kicked-off a Vees’ penalty-killer out front and right over to Kaufman for the tap-in at 18:40.
Torrin White sealed the win for Langley with an empty-net goal at 19:25.
Final Score: 4-2 Rivermen
Shots: 30-29 Rivermen
Power-Plays: Vees 1-4 Rivermen 2-6
Three Stars: 1) Justin Fregona 2) Tyson Jost 3) Bo Didur
Dixon Bowen was hurt in the opening shift of the game and didn’t return after taking a dangerous looking hit up-high; his status is unknown for Saturday. Ben Brar received a boarding major inside the final minute of regulation and is automatically suspended the next two games, under the Jr. ‘A’ Supplement. Scott Conway (22) and Tyson Jost (13) extended their respective point streaks in the loss.
Penticton (23-2-0-0) looks to rebound from just their second loss this season on Saturday, November 21st, when they visit the Coquitlam Express (10-10-1-3); face-off is 7 pm. Coquitlam beat the Wenatachee Wild at home 4-1 Friday and the Vees just beat the Express 1-0 in double-overtime on Wednesday, back at the SOEC.