Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bonar Heroic As Vees Win OT Thriller:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Bonar heroic as Vees win ot thriller

by Don Klepp | Added 2010-03-27

Sean Bonar stopped 61 of 63 Viper shots Friday to give his Penticton Vees a chance to win 3-2 in overtime in Vernon.

Denver Manderson scored at 7:14 of that third overtime when all eyes, including Graeme Gordon’s, followed the play behind the net to Gordon’s left. Somehow, the puck squirted back to the other side where Manderson had a half open net.

The goal capped a gutsy comeback by the Vees, who trailed 2-0 going into the third period. In the first two periods, they were stymied by a smothering Viper defence and sharp goaltending by Graeme Gordon. Indeed, the Vipers had plenty of opportunities to bury the Vees, with 16 scoring chances compared to just 6 by the Vees in the first two periods. One of those chances, a slider by Connor Jones, beat Bonar, but went off the post.

However, at 2:03 of the third, Beau Bennett got his first point of the series when his wrist shot found its way through a maze of bodies and past Gordon, who was screened. The Vees tied the game on a fortunate bounce. At 15:26, Joey Holka threw the puck toward the net from the back boards. It hit Gordon on his left side and found its way into the net.

Bonar led a charmed life in the first two overtime periods and in the beginning of the third extra frame, as several pucks rolled just wide of his net. He also made sensational game-saving stops on David Robinson and Sahir Gill. Also, Adam Thompson fired a power play rocket that Bonar probably didn’t even see, but the puck hit the post and stayed out.

The Vees’ game winner came against the run of play as the Vipers came out with guns blazing in the third extra period. Again, Bonar was good and he was fortunate because the Vipers stormed his net and had pucks narrowly miss. When the dust cleared, the Vipers had 40 scoring chances in the six periods, compared to 22 by the Vees.

The Vipers will no doubt feel that this was a game they should have won. They opened with a fine goal by Dylan Walchuk at 5:33 of the first period, when he ripped a Jonathan Milhouse rebound over Bonar. They added to their lead with a Cole Ikkala goal at 18:25 of the second.

That goal developed when Luke Curadi flubbed an attempt at the Viper blue line. Rob Short raced away and drove hard to the net. Bonar made the initial save, but a hustling Ikkala used a backhand to bury the rebound.

The two teams resume the series in Penticton on Saturday.

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