For the first time in the series, the Vipers would open the scoring as Luke Voltin would dig the puck out of a scrum in the corner and make a nifty toe drag move and back hand one past Hunter Miska. Big assist to Riley Brandt on that goal as he tied up 2 Vees allowing Voltin to take that puck away. The Vees though, had a lot of jump in the first period and doubled the Vipers in shots 14-7. Todosychuk was very solid in the first period.
The second period was primarily controlled by the Vees and their pressure finally paid off as Riley Alferd would take a puck below the net and with a quick wrap around slide it in before Todosychuk could get across. Alferd has had a nice series and has scored the first Vees goal in back to back games. The momentum would continue in the home teams favour as Steen Cooper would skate down the left win and put it at the net. It would go off a Viper D-man and through the legs of Todosychuk to make it 2-1. That score lasted 7 seconds before the Vees would enter the zone quickly and Connor Chartier let a hard wrist shot go off the inside of the post and in and the Vees found themselves up by 2. The key to those goals were they were in the last two minutes of the second period. The Vipers looked quite flat in the second period as they weren't hitting or moving their feet all that much. They would have a lot of work to do heading into the final period.
In the third period, the Vipers came out pushing the pace as expected. Mackenzie Bauer would cause a turnover and rip a hard shot off the shoulder of Hunter Miska. Fortunately for Bauer it would go off the shoulder and into the back of the net for his first goal of the playoffs. The Vees continued to hold the lead while trying to get some offense, but the Vipers were starting to come on and play a little desperate. Late in regulation an offensive zone faceoff would find its way to Riley Guenther and he would let a wrist shot go with a ton of traffic in front of the net and it would elude Miska to tie the game up late. This game would need at least one extra period to be solved.
There weren't a whole lot of quality scoring chances in the first overtime. I thought it was a pretty balanced period with both teams playing rather cautious.
The second overtime however, had a few more rushes and chances, but it was a fluky play that led to the game winner as Luke Voltin carried in down the right side and looked like he was trying fire across to the corner or a Viper on the near side, but it hit a Penticton Vee and went top corner on Hunter Miska who had no chance on the goal. The Vipers will take it and a 3-2 series lead into game 6 tonight at Kal Tire Place.
Here is the official box score from the BCHL website:
|1-0 Vernon Vipers at 16:01 - Luke Voltin from Riley Brandt|
|1-1 Penticton Vees at 8:57 - Riley Alferd from Jack Ramsey and Matthew Serratore|
|2-1 Penticton Vees at 18:13 - Steen Cooper from Cody DePourcq and Dante Fabbro|
|3-1 Penticton Vees at 18:20 - Connor Chartier from Dakota Conroy and Miles Gendron|
|3-2 Vernon Vipers at 2:57 - Mackenzie Bauer (unassisted)|
|3-3 Vernon Vipers at 17:48 - Riley Guenther from Jagger Williamson and Liam Finlay|
|OVERTIME PERIOD 2|
|4-3 Vernon Vipers at 5:37 - Luke Voltin (unassisted)|
|STARS OF THE GAME|
|1st STAR||2nd STAR||3rd STAR|
I know the 3 stars don't seem to make sense, the way the game ended, but the explanation was that these stars were determined before the start of the third period. That being the case those were the right stars through 40 minutes. The only change I would've made would've been slotting Luke Voltin into the first start selection. A lot gets made up out of the three stars selection, but each building has a different way of relaying the three stars. Again, after 40 minutes the stars were bang on. No harm done.
This game seemed to lack the physical edge through the first 4 games. It wasn't until the third period where the Vipers played that kind of game that included urgency. I would be off my rocker if I didn't talk about the play of Danny Todosychuk. This was a gutsy performance by the Viper goaltender who stopped 48 of 51 shots despite at times looking a bit uncomfortable. The Vipers veteran players have really come to the forefront in this second round and there is no better evidence than in between the pipes.
The Vipers know that the hardest game to win is the fourth one and will have to be prepared for a very desperate Vees team.
Game 6 goes tonight at Kal Tire Place starting at 6pm...here's how you can tune in:
Listen with myself and Mitchell Oliver...http://1075kiss.com/
Listen with Fraser Rodgers and Trevor Miller...http://penticton.myezrock.com/
Watch on Fasthockey...http://www.fasthockey.com
Thanks for reading the blog! Feel free to follow me on Twitter...@GrahamT_Vipers for all your Viper news and information.