BCHL PLAYOFFS: West Kelowna Warriors fall to Vees in marathon thriller

Image Credit: West Kelowna Warriors

WEST KELOWNA - It was the longest game in West Kelowna Warriors history Friday night, March 6, at Royal LePage Place, as the Penticton Vees scored 9:37 into the third overtime period to win 4-3 and take a 2-1 lead in the first round of the BCHL playoffs.

The Vees were hot out of the gate against the Warriors as Jack Ramsey scored just 16 seconds in on the first shot, beating Stephen Heslop who started in place of an injured Scott Patton.

Penticton kept coming in the opening few minutes and got a pair of fortunate bounces to go up 3-0. First it was a Steen Cooper shot that hit Dakota Conroy's skate and went into the goal, then it was Tyson Jost who poked it over the line when a point shot hit Kristian Bluemschein and popped over top of Heslop's head.

The first period would end 3-0 in favour of the Vees.

The Warriors responded in the second period with physical play, including a pair of shifts in a row where nine hits were recorded.

Warrior Tanner Campbell scored at 15:28 of the second period when his jam play at the side of the net went past Hunter Miska.

In the third period the Warriors would completely take over, firing 22 shots at Miska.

Kylar Hope scored at 2:18, then Rylan Yaremko made a great move in tight on a rush and slid one through Miska's legs to tie the game at 3-3.

West Kelowna out-shot the Vees 44-28 through three periods.

In overtime, each team would get great chances, but Miska and Heslop stood on their heads.

The Warriors killed off penalties in each of the first and second overtimes with the Vees pressing, and when the Warriors got their third opportunity of the night in the third extra period they couldn't convert.

Shortly thereafter, it would be Mitch Newsome on the doorstep to find the rebound in a scramble and flip it over Heslop for the game winner, after 109:37 of hockey action.

Miska was named first star for his 79 save performance, as the Warriors finished with a 82-51 advantage in the shots on goal department.

Game 4 goes tonight, Saturday, March 7 at Royal Lepage Place, tickets available at the Warriors office from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. or at the box office starting at 6 p.m.

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