Defenseman Nico Somerville played hero in the Penticton Vees come-from-behind, overtime win against the Vernon Vipers Wednesday at Kal Tire Place in Vernon.
The victory was the team’s 33rd so far in the B.C. Hockey League (BCHL) season, keeping them in first place in the Interior Division standings, 10 points ahead of the Trail Smoke Eaters.
Penticton and Trail have each clinched a spot in the playoffs.
Wednesday, the host squad jumped into an early lead scoring their only goal of the game just under two minutes into the first period, a lead that stood up until the 5:59 mark of the final frame when Vees captain David Silye tallied his 18th of the season to tie the game.
Both teams traded chances during the remainder of regulation time, including a pair of power play chances for the Vernon that Penticton managed to kill off, sending the game into extra minutes, the second time this season the clubs have needed overtime to settle the score.
The Vees took just over a minute to ice the victory, Jay O’Brien took a Silye drop pass just inside the blue line, broke in a slid a pass to Somerville in the right face off circle and he fired a one timer for his sixth of the season and a Penticton victory.
Yaniv Perets was in the twines for the winners, netting his 19 win of the season, stopping all but one of the 26 shots he faced.
His counterpart, Reilly Herbst, was particularly good in goal as the visitors pounded him with 46 shots, including 17 in the first period. He was the game’s first star.
The Vees (33-11-1-1) return home for a pair of games at the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday and Saturday against the Merritt Centennials (10-29-1-3) and Salmon Arm Silverbacks (23-18-1-1).
Game time Friday is 7 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are available at the Valley First Box Office or online at ValleyFirstTix.com