LANGLEY, BC –Owen Sillinger knows how to finish what he started. The Penticton Vees’ forward scored twice, including in double-overtime, as the Vees edged the Langley Rivermen 5-4 at the George Preston Recreation Centre Friday night.
Sillinger, who opened the scoring in the first, scored his second of the game and sixth of the year two-minutes into the second OT period on a breakaway, as the Vees pushed their win streak to nine straight. With the OT win, the Vees sweep the three-game season series against the Rivermen.
Chris Klack, Jared Nash and Ryley Risling also scored for the Vees in a seesaw affair against the Rivermen. Mat Robson stopped 24 of 28 shots to pick up his ninth win and third against the Riv’.
Andrew Dumaresque scored twice and Eric Butte and McKay Flanagan added singles, as the Rivermen dropped their third straight and seventh in their last eight games.
It was a game with several momentum swings, as the Vees went up by two goals twice, only to have Langley come back both times to tie things up.
Penticton quickly went up by two late in the first, as Sillinger and Klack scored four-minutes apart. Sillinger opened the scoring on the Vees’ second power-play of the game. The Vees’ Alternate Captain smartly redirected Jonny Tychonick’s point-shot through Bo Didur’s legs at 13:42. Then Klack doubled the Vees’ lead on another great play by Tychonick. The 16-year-old defenceman alertly fired a slap-pass across the zone to Klack at the back-post for the easy tap-in at 17:36; Klack’s first since September 18th.
The Vees had a golden opportunity to pad their lead early in the second after Grant Cruikshank was awarded a penalty-shot, whilst short-handed. The Vees forward tried to sneak a backhand deke five-hole but Didur closed the door. That miss loomed large.
Butte got the Rivermen back within one with just over five-minutes in the second frame. The forward cut down the right-wing before firing a dart over Robson’s glove on the short-side at 14:56. Then on Langley’s second power-play of the game, they tied it up at two’s late.
After a short scramble in front of the Vees’ net, Andrew Dumaresque punched the puck into open goal from his knees at 18:29. Robson was down and out at the far-post after colliding with a Langley forward, and couldn’t dive back in time to stop the tying goal.
Momentum, like a pendulum, swung back into the Vees’ favour in the third period. Again, Penticton went up by two halfway through the frame. First, Jared Nash put the Vees back out ahead after cleaning up a rebound out front of the Langley net at 8:50. Risling quickly added to the Vees’ lead, scoring on a breakaway one minute and 13-seconds later to put Penticton back up by two. But the Rivermen didn’t go away and had an answer again, this time late in the third.
McKay Flanagan made it a one-goal game on a late power-play goal at 15:56. Flanagan squeezed a wrist-shot from the right-wing between the goalie Robson and the post. The real drama however, came inside the final minute of regulation.
With the Langley net empty for the extra attacker, the Rivermen found a way to manufacture the equalizer. Nicholas Jones thought he had the puck cleared off the face-off, but Reid Yochim made a great play at the blue-line to keep the play on-side by blocking the clearing attempt. As the play continued, Dumaresque took a pass out front from behind the goal-line, and roofed the puck up and over a kneeling Robson at the post. Langley managing to tie it up with 28-seconds left in regulation.
Penticton regrouped and had a great chance to end it in the first overtime on the power-play. Taylor Ward thought he had the game won but Bo Didur somehow managed to dive across and flail out his left-leg to get a piece of the puck on the Ward shot from just outside of the crease. A fifth period was needed to decide a winner.
It finally came together for the Vees in double-OT and after some great work inside their own end. Ty Amonte alertly dove at the puck at the side of his net to take it away from Max Kaufman. The Vees’ forward then spun the puck around the boards and out to Sillinger at the Penticton blue-line. Sillinger turned on the jets, outraced a defender to the goal from the right-wing, and snapped the puck over Didur’s glove 2:08 into three-on-three.
FINAL SCORE: 5-4 Vees
Shots: 32-28 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 1-3 Rivermen 2-4
Three Stars (EZ Rock): 1) Owen Sillinger 2) Nicholas Jones 3) Andrew Dumaresque
Penticton improved to 4-0-0 in overtime this season with the win; they’ve won 12 of their last 13 overtime games going back to last season. Penticton pushed their record to 5-0 against the Mainland Division as well. Jones’ point streak is now at 10-games with his assist in the first period.
The Vees (11-1-0-0) have a quick turnaround, as the go back home to host the Nanaimo Clippers Saturday night at the SOEC; puck drop is 6 pm. Nanaimo beat the Trail Smoke Eaters 4-3 Friday.