Hunter Miska was phenomenal in goal for the Penticton Vees making 79 saves in a 4-3 triple overtime victory over the West Kelowna Warriors at Royal LePage Place Friday night.
The Vees now have a 2-1 series lead in the BCHL Interior Division semifinal with Game 4 at Royal LePage Place at 7 p.m. Saturday.
While the Vees power play failed them, going 0-for-six on Friday and now 1-for-12 in the series, Miska did not.
“He made some massive saves in overtime to give us an opportunity,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson.
Miska shut the door on the Warriors after allowing two goals in the third period as the Warriors erased a 3-0 Vees lead to tie the game. At the other end of the rink, affiliate player Stephen Heslop did everything in his power to give the Warriors a chance to win. However, Mitch Newsome buried the Vees’ 51 shot past him on a play started by Matthew Serratore and Cody DePourcq at 9:37 of the third overtime period.
“He played great,” said Harbinson of Newsome, who has formed an excellent line with DePourcq and Serratore. “They bring energy and keep moving their feet. They are relentless on the puck. He found room to go up stairs.”
The game lasted 109 minutes and Harbinson said it’s one of those that you remember and glad to be a part of.
“It felt great to get the win,” he said.
As for special teams, both teams have struggled and Harbinson said that you have two good penalty killing teams that are desperate with their shot blocking. One of the Vees chances hit the post. Harbinson added he would like to see his group get at least one goal, but also said if it isn’t able to score, he would like to see momentum gained from it.
The Vees got off to a quick start scoring three times in the opening six minutes with goals by Jack Ramsey, Dakota Conroy and Tyson Jost. Scoring for the Warriors were Tanner Campbell, Kylar Hope and Rylan Yaremko.
Assisting on the Vees’ other goals were Dante Fabbro, Steen Cooper, Demico Hannoun, Jarod Hilderan, Patrick Sexton and Riley Alferd.
On another note, the Vees lost the services of defenceman Mike Lee late in the second period to a lower body injury and played the rest of the game with five defenceman. No word on his status for Game 4.
The Three Vees blog reported that the Warriors called up Heslop, whose season with the Princeton Posse ended after the first round of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoffs, was called up after rookie Scott Patton was injured in Game 2. Andy Desautels served has the backup, but isn’t healthy enough to play.