Duncan, BC: Taylor Ward scored his second overtime winner of the season Saturday night as the Penticton Vees (31-9-2-3) took down the Cowichan Valley Capitals (9-31-5-2), 4-3 in double overtime.
Massimo Rizzo opened the scoring for the Vees just 59 seconds into the opening period when he took a pass from Chris Klack right off the bench and raced up the middle of the ice. After stepping around the defender, Rizzo faked forehand before pulling it to his backhand and beating JJ Pichette with his 10th of the season.
Cowichan answered back when Hugh Larkin deflected Marshall Skapski’s shot past Nolan Hildebrand to even the score with 6:11 remaining in the period. The Vees had plenty of chances to take a lead into the first intermission, including Rizzo hitting the underside of the crossbar, but the game was tied at one after 20 minutes.
The Capitals would strike on the man advantage near the mid point of the second period. After a shot from the blue line was blocked in front, David Laroche jumped on the rebound and backhanded it past Hildebrand just 8:22 into the frame.
The chances continued to pile up for the Vees over the course of the period, and when they got their first power play of the game they made it count. Klack took a pass inside the left circle and had room to take a few strides in before wiring a shot off the post and into the net to tie the game at two with 5:26 remaining.
Cowichan thought they had taken a 3-2 lead into the intermission as Ethan Scardina threw the puck on net at the end of the period, beating Hildebrand glove side. While it was originally called a goal, the officials convened at centre ice and agreed time had expired before Scardina put the puck in the net.
Cowichan’s power play was clicking Saturday night, and just eight seconds into their second power play they scored again. Right off the face-off the puck ended up on the goal line and as bodies converged on the net, the puck slide through the crease and behind Hildebrand to give the Caps a 3-2 lead early in the third.
Less than a minute after the goal, Rizzo put on a show in the Capitals zone by repeatedly carrying the puck around the zone controlling the play. After having one of his gloves knocked off, Rizzo skated to the slot and let a wrist shot go that bounced off a Capitals body and past Pichette to tie the game.
Both teams came close to finding the back of the net again in regulation, but the game went to overtime tied at three. After neither team scored in the first five minutes, three-on-three double overtime was needed.
Jonny Tychonick had the puck at the mid point in the Capitals zone and directed Ward to head to the front of the net. Ward obliged, and Tychonick threw the puck down the slot onto Ward’s tape. Pichette went down when Ward took the pass, so Ward pulled the puck to his forehand and fired home the game winner.
The Vees now get set to wrap up this three-game road trip Sunday afternoon at 2:00 against the Victoria Grizzlies (24-16-4-3).