RJ Murphy scored with just 0.3 seconds remaining in overtime to earn the West Kelowna Warriors a 3-2 victory on Teddy Bear Toss night over the Penticton Vees on Friday night at Royal LePage Place.
The teddy bears didn’t take long to get the teddy bears on the ice as Chase Dubois released the furry stuffed animals on the ice at the 10:37 mark of the opening period. The Warriors started from their defensive zone with a 3-on-2 rush with Jared Marino sending a pass to the right wing for Dubois with his shot wristed up and over the blocker side for his 13th goal of the season and a 1-0 Warriors lead.
The Vees answered back just under three minutes later as Owen Sillinger tallied his first of the night on a shot from the left-wing face-off circle. On the Vees first power play of the night, Sillinger ripped a shot past the blocker side of Warriors netminder Cole Demers and tied the game at one a piece after one period.
In a see-saw 2nd period, the teams traded chances before the Warriors broke through and replenished their lead at the 13:25 mark on a rebound. Tyler Jutting put a shot on from the midpoint was stopped by Vees goaltender Adam Scheel but the rebound bounced to Michael Lombardi who shot it past on the blocker side to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead on the rookie’s 9th goal of the season.
The Warriors fired 17 shots on goal in both the first and second period but Scheel was fantastic with 32 saves on 34 shots through 40 minutes while Cole Demers was equally as brilliant with 22 saves on 23 shots to give the Warriors a one-goal lead heading into the final regulation period.
The Vees starting to bring pressure in the 3rd period, pressing for the tying goal and got It at the 6:29 mark of the frame as Sillinger added his 2nd goal of the night. The Vees captain spun and fired a backhand shot past Demers on the glove side from the right-wing face-off circle to tie the game once more at 2-2.
Demers was his best late in the period with an onrush of shots coming on a Vees power play, including a chance for Sillinger to get his hat-trick goal on a shot from just outside of the crease but the Warriors netminder came out and made a huge left pad save to force the game to overtime.
The overtime frame saw the Warriors with a power play that had multiple chances to end the game but Scheel was outstanding with three big stops on the PK to keep the game going until the dying moments when RJ Murphy played hero once more.
With just 5 seconds remaining in the first overtime period, Murphy gathered the puck in his own zone and drove down the left-wing side getting past a Vees defender driving to net and sliding the puck through the legs of Scheel for his 10th goal of the season and a Warriors victory with just 0.3 seconds remaining.
Cole Demers was terrific in a first star effort on Friday night, turning away 34 of the 36 shots he faced in the game for his 9th win of the season while Adam Scheel made 49 saves on 52 shots in a tough loss to take for the Vees netminder who was great all night long.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 (OT) Warriors