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Chiefs cough up late lead in loss to Vipers
The Chilliwack Chiefs found a new way to lose Saturday night, blowing a three-goal lead in the final 10 minutes before falling 5-4 in overtime.
The Vernon Vipers did the deed, downing the Chiefs at Prospera Centre to complete a sweep of the weekend home-and-home series.
The Chiefs lost 4-1 in Vernon Friday night and have now lost six straight.
Their overall record is 1-8-1-0 as they embark on a stretch of three straight road games.
The teams traded power play goals in period one, with the Chiefs drawing first blood at 5:15.
Cooper Rush started the play with a point shot that rattled off the end boards. The puck came back to Jarret Babych who slipped a backhand shot/pass across the crease. Ben Butcher tapped the puck into the net for his second of the season.
The Vipers answered back at 17:51 on a goal by Jason Bird. The Toronto native netted his second of the season, threading the puck through a crowded crease past Chilliwack goaltender Lyndon Stanwood.
Stanwood was otherwise sharp, turning aside 12 first period shots.
The Chiefs retook at the lead at 3:41 of period two.
Again, it was the power play doing the damage. Kiefer McNaughton's point shot was deflected by Carter Cochrane, evading Viper netminder Danny Todosychuk.
Chilliwack struck again at 13:43, with T.J. Roche's off-balance just-put-it-on-net shot from the right point beating Todosychuk.
It was the first BCHL goal for the New York native.
Stanwood continued his strong play in the middle frame.
On one late Viper power play, the Vancouver native robbed Mason Blacklock on a point-blank bang-bang feed from Demico Hannoun, then went post-to-post to thwart Bird on a rocket from the point.
The Chiefs got one more in period two, with Kurt 'Briefly a Viper' Black parking in the goal mouth to chip a shot up and over Todosychuk.
Shots on goal through 40 minutes favoured Chilliwack 24-20.
The Vernon Vipers looked to be down and out as the third period started. Stanwood went post-to-post to rob Tyler Povelofskie on a two-on-one rush, and the home side was in excellent shape.
But the Vipers scored three times in four minutes and nine seconds to erase the deficit.
Mason Blacklock got it started at 14:29, roofing a shot from the slot for his 11th of the year.
Liam Coughlin lit the lamp at 16:46 to get the Vipers within one, forcing Chiefs coach Harvey Smyl to burn his timeout.
It didn't help.
With 82 ticks left on the clock, Blacklock struck for the equalizer, lazering a shot over Stanwood's glove to force overtime.
Vernon finished the comeback 3:09 into the extra session.
Michael McNicholas flew down the wing, leaning into a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. Stanwood made the save, but kicked a huge rebound to Bird. The defenceman calmly buried the winner to keep the Chiefs winless at home this season.
Announced attendance was 1,549.
The three stars were Austin Plevy (first), Blacklock (second) and Babych (third).
The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Zach Diamantoni.