PENTICTON, BC –The Penticton Vees are pulled another rabbit out of the hat Saturday night, conjuring up more late game magic, in their 3-2 come from behind overtime win over the Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday night.
Owen Sillinger scored on a wrap-round 3:14 into four-on-four overtime, as the Vees (23-4-0-0) won their fifth straight and again in come from behind fashion at home. Chris Klack and Nicholas Jones in regulation and Mat Robson stopped 12 of 14 shots to pick up his 18th win.
Derek Osik and Kale Kane scored for the Chiefs (18-7-0-4) who were just 80-seconds away from snapping their two-game losing streak, before the Vees tied it up. Mark Sinclair was very good in a losing effort, kicking-out 37 of 40 shots, including 28 of 29 over the final two periods.
In a game that was billed as a showdown of two of the top programs in the BCHL, it certainly didn’t disappoint and there were fireworks early. Both teams traded goals just eight-seconds party in the opening minutes, as the teams came sprinting out of the starting blocks.
Osik opened the scoring three and a half minutes into the game, picking up the puck in the slot and firing a wrist-shot up underneath the cross-bar and past Robson’s glove. But, off the ensuing face-off, the Vees marched down the ice and Klack responded seconds later. Jones made a great pass out of the corner to Klack in front and he quickly put the puck between the goalie’s legs at 3:45; in a blink of an eye, the game was tied.
After an eight-second flurry, the offense went quiet, as both teams kept one another in check.
Penticton had a few chances in the middle frame to break the 1-1 deadlock with their power-play. One of the best chances came off the stick of Taylor Ward, but his blast from the top of the circle was gloved by Sinclair who fully extended out in the splits to snag the shot.
The Vees found another gear in the second half of the game and outshot the Chiefs 29-8 over the final forty-minutes of regulation, including 18-3 in the third, but it was Chilliwack, not Penticton, who found the go-ahead goal late.
On just their second shot of the third period, Kale Kane capitalized on a turnover and after some quick passing along the wall, walked in and roofed a shot over Robson’s shoulder at the post at 17:46; Kane scoring on just the Chiefs’ seventh shot of the game.
But just like they did in the first, the Vees had a quick response to the Chiefs’ goal. Well, not that quick, as it took an excruciating 54-seconds tie it back up.
With just 1:20 left on the clock, Klack, from the goal-line, fired the puck across the zone to Jones, who from his knee, managed to muscle the shot through Sinclair from the left-wing circle at 18:40; his 12th of the season levelling the game at two’s.
Chilliwack pushed back in the opening minutes of overtime, controlling the puck for much of the first two-minutes but Robson saved his best for last. With Chiefs’ leading scorer Jordan Kawaguchi moving in on goal from the right-circle, Robson quickly darted out his glove to get a piece of Kawaguchi’s shot that was labeled for the top-corner. That save loomed large.
Jonny Tychonick threw the puck behind the net to Owen Sillinger and the veteran forward quickly moved out front, turning to his forehand before firing the puck underneath Sinclair from the side of the net. Sillinger’s eighth of the season and his first in seven games, the game-winner 3:14 into overtime.
Final Score: 3-2 (OT) Vees
Shots: 40-14 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 0-6 Chiefs 0-3
Three Stars: 1) Owen Sillinger 2) Chris Klack 3) James Miller