The Penticton Vees (8-5-2) were turned away on numerous chances throughout the game while the Coquitlam Express (12-5-1) got a stellar performance from goaltender Kolby Matthews in a 3-2 shootout loss for Penticton Wednesday night.
Brendan Harrogate opened the scoring for the Vees 10:08 into the first after taking a drop feed from Andre Ghantous in the slot. Harrogate ripped a wrist shot past Matthews’ blocker for his fifth of the season.
Off the ensuing faceoff, Harrogate was robbed by Matthews. After he and Ghantous came in on a short two-on-one, Ghantous centred for Harrogate and he redirected the puck on net, but Matthews sprawled out and made the paddle save to keep the game 1-0 Penticton through 20 minutes.
Halfway through the second the Express tied the game. After Coquitlam held the Vees in their own end for long stretches, a shot from the line hit a few bodies and was bouncing in front of the goal before popping loose for Christian Sanda who had an open net on Derek Krall.
The Vees would regain their lead in the third thanks to Harrogate. Mason Snell carried the puck down the left wing into the Express zone before hooking it on goal. Matthews made the save but the rebound went to Harrogate in the slot who scored his second of the game.
The lead didn’t last long however, as Chase Danol let a shot go from the left wing boards through a screen and beat Krall on the glove side to tie the game.
Late in the third, after the Vees survived back to back penalties, the Express appeared to take the lead before the goal was disallowed. Seconds before the goal, a collision between Snell and Hunter Alden knocked a metal stanchion from the glass loose and it fell onto the ice. The Express scored, but a short discussion amongst the officials took the goal away.
In overtime both teams had multiple chances, but none bigger than a clear cut breakaway for Regan Kimens in the dying seconds as he was denied by the blocker of Krall.
There was only one goal in the shootout, and it had to be reviewed. Danol’s shot hit the crossbar and appeared to bounce out, but after a few minute review the officials agreed the puck went off the crossbar, hit the ice behind the goal line and came out. The Vees’ Hutchison, Eric Linell and Ryan Sandelin were all denied as the Express took the game 3-2.
Penticton now gets set to travel to the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena Friday night for a game against the first-place Merritt Centennials. The Vees will get a boost to their lineup as Luke Loheit is expected to play after missing the previous eight games with mono.