CHILLIWACK - Days like Sunday is why the Penticton Vees went out and acquired Demico Hannoun this past off-season. The veteran forward scored the game-tying and game-winning goals, as the Vees came back and stunned the Chilliwack Chiefs 4-3 in overtime at Prospera Centre.
The win keeps the Vees perfect record intact in the BCHL Round-Robin and at least guarantees them a spot in the tie-breaker game on April 6th.
Matt Serratore and Connor Chartier also scored for the Vees, who won their fourth straight dating back to game six against Vernon in the Interior Division Final.
Jake Hand paced the attack for Chilliwack as he finished with a goal and three points, and Bennett Morrison chipped in with a pair of goals, as he almost matched his regular season total of three.
The Vees opened the scoring seventy-nine seconds into the game, as Serratore cleaned up his own rebound in front after the Chiefs were caught on a slow line-change; his fifth and second in three games.
Chilliwack tied things up midway through the frame when Morrison snuck down from the point and buried a rebound out front at 10:40.
Chartier put the Vees back ahead three-minutes later and it came off another rebound in close. The point-shot was stopped but Chartier tucked the rebound in at the side of the net at 13:37; his team-leading eighth.
The Chiefs had an answer for that goal too, as their leading scorer had a hand in the equalizer. Rory Bell drove wide down the wing and centered for Jake Hand who pumped a one-timer past Miska at 16:13.
Late in the second, Chilliwack turned to their number one ranked power-play to grab their first lead. After the Vees were quickly called for back-to-back penalties, Tipper Higgins hit Morrison with a cross-ice pass and he went shelf for his second of the game at 19:34.
The 3-2 lead looked like it was going to hold up for the home side until the Vees finally got a crack at the power-play inside the final three-minutes. Inside the final half-minute of the man-advantage, Hannoun took a pass on the goal-line and turned and fired it upstairs on David Jacobson at 17:51; his first in six games.
Hannoun’s tying marker took the Vees past regulation for the sixth time in 15 playoff games. Hannoun finished it off eleven and a half minutes into the extra frame, as he buried a feed from behind the net. Pat Newell dished it out front to Hannoun, who forced a one-timer past Jacobson at the top of the crease.
Final Score: 4-3 Vees (OT)
Shots: 40-34 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 1-1 Chiefs 1-3
Three Stars: 1) Bennett Morrison 2) Rory Bell 3) Demico Hannoun
The Vees handed the Chiefs their first loss at home in the playoffs with the win; they were 5-0 before Sunday. If you include the regular season, all three meetings between Penticton and Chilliwack have gone past regulation; the Vees have won twice.
The two teams reconvene at the SOEC on Tuesday, March 31st in the back-half of a mini home-and-home set; puck drop is 7pm. The Vees can book a spot in the BCHL Fred Page Cup Final with a win. Tickets are available at the Valley First box office at the South Okanagan Events Centre, or online at www.valleyfirstix.com.