One night after the Penticton Vees staged an epic comeback; it was the West Kelowna Warriors turn on Tuesday. The Tribe rallied from a 4-1 third period deficit to beat the Vees 5-4 in overtime in game four. The Warriors avoided the sweep and snap the Vees seven-game winning streak in the process; game five goes Thursday in Penticton.
On Monday it was an unlikely hero for the Vees in double-overtime and the same can be said for the Warriors on Tuesday. Reid Simmonds poked in a loose puck in the crease at 16:39 of the first overtime period capping of a five-goal comeback.
The Warriors scored three third period goals to force overtime after the Vees had a 4-1 lead through forty-minutes. Marcus Basara started the rally when he snuck a shot from the right-circle through the legs of Chad Katunar at 5:31; the Vees caught on a bad line change.
David Pope brought the Warriors within one on the power-play just 1:22 later. Pope was fed at the back post, at the bottom of the left-circle. His shot went off the pad of Katunar and just across the goal-line at 6:53.
Max French drew the Warriors level late in third when his shot from the right-circle went off something and over the left shoulder of Chad Katunar. French’s shot looked to hit a Vees defender before popping up and over the Vees goalie at 14:26.
The Vees looked to be in the driver’s seat earlier, as they put together a four-goal second period. Trailing 1-0 to start the second, Sam Mellor got things going just seventy-four seconds in the second. Mellor followed the puck to the net after a failed two-on-rush and snapped a shot through Tyler Briggs at 1:14.
Brad McClure gave the Vees their first lead of the game with his tap-in on a late breaking two-on-oh rush. With the Warriors caught up ice, John Siemer skated down the left-wing and fed McClure in front for his fourth goal in as many games at 6:32.
Cody DePourcq bagged his first goal of the playoffs just over two-minutes later. Off a face-off in the Warriors end, DePourcq was the last stick to touch a loose puck in the crease after a goal-mouth scramble; his first in eight games dating back to March 2nd.
Mellor picked up his second of the frame when he tipped a point-shot inside the final two minutes. James de Haas let go the shot that Mellor touched out of mid-air, as it went over Tyler Briggs and off the cross-bar and in; Mellor’s fourth at 18:53.
The Warriors were the only team to score in the opening period on their first power-play of the game. Ambrose Firkus scored from the right-circle just nine seconds into their first man-advantage; the first Warriors power-play goal of the series.
FINAL SCORE: 5-4 Warriors
Shots 44-38 Warriors
Power-Plays: Vees 0-2 Warriors 2-5
Three Stars: 1) Max 2) Sam Mellor 3) Reid Simmonds
Tuesday marked just the third time all season the Vees lost a game when leading after two periods; previously losing twice in overtime. John Siemer led all Vees scorers with three assists. The league’s best penalty-kill in the playoffs took a hit, as before Tuesday, the Vees only allowed one power-play goal against, on twenty-three opposition chances.
The Vees will look to use home-ice to their advantage, as they will host the Warriors in game five on Thursday; puck drop is 7pm. The Vees are a perfect 4-0 at home in the playoffs. Tickets are available at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC, or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com