The Penticton Vees (22-6-1-2) were a step behind from start to finish Saturday night as their 12-game winning streak was snapped at the hands of the Vernon Vipers (23-7-1-4) 4-0.
One of the bright spots from the game was Kenny Johnson’s hit on Keyvan Mokhitari in the first period. After Mokhitari took a feed from his defenceman up the left wing, he turned to look up ice and was met by the backside of Johnson who steamrolled him in the neutral zone.
Vernon had a great chance to blow the game open early as they were given a full two-minute five-on-three power play, but managed just two shots on goal during the sequence.
The power plays would end 4-0 in favour of Vernon at the end of the first, and they capitalized on their final one. Mitch Andres threw the puck on goal from the left point with just seconds left on the clock, and Niko Karamanis was able to deflect it past Adam Scheel with 2.3 seconds remaining in the period.
Jagger Williamson added to the Vipers lead less than seven minutes into the second after firing a wrist shot from the slot, beating Scheel blocker side.
The Vipers then put the game to bed by scoring two goals just 16 seconds apart. First was Sam Anzai who took a centring feed from the corner and beat Scheel blocker side before he could get set.
Off the ensuing faceoff, Jimmy Lambert took a stretch feed and tried to breakaway from Joe Leahy. The two were skating side by side and Leahy took Lambert down bringing a delayed penalty. While on his stomach, Lambert swept the puck on goal and a mis play by Scheel saw it slide right through his pads to make it 4-0.
That would mark the end of the night for Scheel, who was lifted after giving up for goals on 28 shots. Though if not for his performance, the score could have been much worse.
Nolan Hildebrand took over in the Vees crease and did not allow a goal while facing eight shots over the final 27 minutes of the game.
Taylor Ward had one of of the Vees best chances in the third to break Ty Taylor’s shutout, taking a pass streaking down the right wing for a partial breakaway. Ward pulled the puck to his backhand while cutting in on goal, but Taylor got his right pad down to make the save.
Frustration mounted for the Vees as Leahy and Dakota Boutin were both sent to the dressing room by the officials before the game came to a close, signalling a 4-0 Vipers win.
Penticton now prepares for their next game; Friday night in West Kelowna. It marks the sixth and final meeting of the year between Penticton and the Warriors as the Vees will look to improve to 5-1 against their division rival.