Blacklock deuce boosts Vernon Vipers
Earlier in this B.C. Hockey League season, a two-goal deficit would normally spell disaster for the Vernon Vipers.
The Snakes faced that situation Saturday night at Wesbild Centre, but instead of wilting, they persevered to earn a 3-2 comeback victory in overtime against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
Mason Blacklock collected both the equalizer and OT winner for Vernon. Linemate Andrew Tegeler set him up with a gorgeous saucer pass on a 2-on-1 for his first goal at 12:45 of the third period. Working behind the net in OT, Colton Sparrow found Blacklock lurking in the slot for the second snipe with just 36 seconds to go in the 4-on-4 frame.
Viper rookie Mitch McAllister started Vernon's comeback early in the third period when a rebound hit him at the side of the net, and the puck bounced up and over netminder Connor LaCouvee.
The Caps got off to a fortuitous road start, converting at the 20-second mark when Garrett Skrbich redirected a rebound off his skate past Danny Todosychuk.
Vernon carried the play for the remainder of the period, but was unable to convert one of numerous odd-man rushes.
Perhaps frustrated by their lack of finish, the Snakes got into penalty trouble in the second period, which allowed Cowichan to gain some momentum. Jesse Neher earned the 2-0 goal at the 3:48 mark, beating Todosychuk shortside from in close just moments after the Vernon tender had denied captain Mikael Jung on a partial breakaway.
The win leaves Vernon (17-23-1-8) five points back of the fourth-place Salmon Arm SilverBacks (21-23-2-4) for the final Interior Division playoff spot. The Vipers have a game in hand. The Caps are last overall at 11-30-1-5.
Check out Wednesday sports in the Morning Star for a complete recap of Saturday's action.