Another game, and another thrilling tie involving the Penticton Vees, as they skated to 1-1 draw against the Chilliwack Chiefs on Sunday afternoon at the SOEC.
After the two teams traded goals in the first, Vees goaltender Hunter Miska and his counter from Chilliwack, Aidan Pelino, shut the door the door the rest of the way. Miska and Pelino combined for 52 saves in the final fifty-minutes, including 17 combined shots in the two overtime periods.
It was the Vees annual Teddy Bear Toss Sunday and Steen Cooper triggered a shower of stuffed toys in the first period. At the end of a power-play shift, Patrick Sexton fired the puck across to Cooper, who went up high over Pelino’s glove at 7:32.
After a short delay to clean up the ice, the Chiefs worked their way back into the game. After being outshot 12-3 at one point, the Chiefs fired the final five shots on net in the first and managed to get one of those by Miska.
After a turnover, Dennis Cholowski quickly fired a pass over to Craig Puffer in the right-circle. The leading goal-scorer of the Chiefs snapped the puck upstairs at 14:20.
Tempers flared shortly after the equalizer, as Shayne Gwinner and Chiefs Captain Eric Roberts dropped the gloves. Gwinner and Roberts squared off at centre and both exchanged some healthy blows before tumbling to the ice.
The Chiefs had a great chance to grab the lead early in the second period. Jake Handed was awarded a penalty-shot four and a half minutes into the middle frame after being taken down on a partial break. However, Hand couldn’t convert on the showdown with Miska, as the Vees goaltender jammed his skate against the post to keep it deadlocked at one’s.
The Vees had a golden opportunity of their own in the sandwich stanza but it was Pelino staring down a Vee on a breakaway. Patrick Newell was sprung down the middle but his nifty backhand deke was kept out by Pelino’s pads.
Already down to five defensemen since the first period, the Vees went down a forward midway through the third. Jack Ramsey took a blow to the head from the Chiefs Jesse Lansdell nine-minutes in. The Vees were awarded a five-minute power-play and Ramsey left the game and did not return.
Cold water was poured on the lengthy man-advantage after the Vees picked up a roughing call one-minute after the Lansdell major-penalty. The Vees couldn’t produce a go-ahead goal when their man-advantage resumed.
Miska, along with some help from his defensemen, earned the Vees the extra point in the dying moments of the third. In a frantic sequence around the Vees net, both Patrick Sexton and Lewis Zerter-Gossage played goalie, as the two blocked two great chances. For good measure, Miska robbed Brandon Potomak point-blank during the same sequence.
Zerter-Gossage had the Vees best chance in the two overtime periods. Late in the three-on-three period, Zerter-Gossage cut to net but somehow his two attempts were kicked out by Pelino, after Zerter-Gossage made a power move on the goal-line.
Miska was not going to be upstaged, as the Chiefs took the puck right back down the ice and Miska threw out his left-pad on a tap-in attempt by Craig Puffer.
Final Score: 1-1
Shots: 38-34 Chilliwack
Power-Plays: Vees 0-3 Chilliwack 0-1
Three Stars: 1) Hunter Miska 2) Aidan Pelino 3) Lewis Zerter-Gossage
After going without a tie in 76 games, going back to October of 2013, the Vees have strung together back-to-back draws. With the point today, combined with Vernon’s loss in Nanaimo, the Vees are now 12 points clear of second place in the Interior. Today’s draw keeps the Vees perfect record against the Mainland Division intact, as they’re now 6-0-1-0. The Vees are now undefeated in their last five games, posting a 3-0-2-0 record. After 33 games, their record sits at 26-4-2-1.
The Vees return to action on Wednesday, December 17th, when they visit the Merritt Centennials at 7pm. The game can be heard locally on EZ Rock AM 800, or fans can watch online, at www.fasthockey.com