October 20, 2013 - 1:15 PM
LANGLEY - Both men between the pipes were fantastic and seventy minutes of hockey couldn’t produce a winner Friday, as the Penticton Vees tied the Langley Rivermen 1-1 at the Langley Events Centre. Hunter Miska and the Rivermen’s Steve Myland combined to stop a stagger eighty of eighty-two shots.
You have to go back three seasons and 131 regular season games, to find the last time the Vees tied a game; February 18th, 2011 against Prince George.
Neither team could find the scoresheet in the opening period, including the Vees coming up empty on two power-play opportunities. The Rivermen penalty-kill was a league best ninety percent at home coming into Friday’s game and it flexed its muscle in the second.
During an early Vees power-play in the middle stanza, Langley’s Matt Ustaski raced down a rolling puck in the Vees zone, and from the bottom of the left-circle, knifed the puck just past Miska’s arm at 3:46.
Fireworks erupted five minutes later when Patrick Sexton dropped the gloves with Nathan Craft, after the Langley forward ran into Hunter Miska. Craft caught Miska up high after he was stopped on a deke. Sexton then engaged Craft in a spirited scrap behind the Vees goal; Sexton sitting out the next seventeen minutes.
The Vees were given four more power-plays in the second and despite plenty of good looks at the net, they would go into the intermission down a goal.
On Friday, the Vees had to kill-off a key five-on-three power-play in the third period trying to preserve a tie. Saturday it was a similar story, as the Vees were down two skaters for a full two minutes, at time when they were trying to keep within striking distance. Miska highlighted the penalty-kill effort by stacking the pads twice to rob Langley shooters.
Their perseverance would payoff late in the third, as Ben Dalpe finally got the Vees on the score-sheet. Brad McClure wheeled into the high-slot and rifled a shot off the post. The rebound squirted right to Dalpe who buried his seventh at 15:43.
The two teams played an entertaining ten minutes of overtime, and combined for 25 shots in the two five-minute periods. Brett Beauvais had one of the Vees best chances in the second overtime when he danced down the right-wing. Beauvais cut to the goal but had his shot go off the post and then off the top of the Langley goalies helmet, as it somehow stayed out before Beauvais crashed into the net.
Hunter Miska made several eye-popping saves during the dying moments of the three-on-three overtime period, including robbing Jakob Reichert of a sure game-winner. Langley even tried pulling their goalie for the extra skater in the fleeting moments of the fifth period.
Final Score: 1-1
Shots: 45-37 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 0/7 Langley 0/3
Three Stars: 1) Matt Ustaski 2) Steve Myland 3) Hunter Miska
The Vees did end their three game road losing streak but are now winless in their last four away from the SOEC. The Vees record moves to 10-3-1-1 after the tie and with the point, they grab sole possession of top spot in the BCHL overall standings. The Vees are now 1-1-1-0 against the Mainland Division this season. When the dust settled, the Vees took an impressive eight out of ten points in a busy two week stretch against some of the top teams in the BCHL.
Penticton is now off until Friday, October 25th when they host another Okanagan rival at the SOEC. The Vees welcome the Vernon Vipers to town for a showdown between two of the top three teams in the Interior; puck drop is 7pm. Tickets are available at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC, or online www.valleyfirsttix.com.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013