The Chilliwack Chiefs rewarded a busload of local hockey fans win an unlikely win Saturday night, beating the Penticton Vees 3-2 in overtime in game two of their first round playoff series.
With the Chilliwack crew cheering in the stands of the South Okanagan Events Centre, the Chiefs completed the unexpected upset at 8:41 of OT, with Trevor ‘Sudden Death’ Hills doing the honours.
The Vees suffered just their third loss since Nov. 5, despite out-shooting the Chiefs 38-27.
Chilliwack goaltender Mitch Gillam was at his best, making big save after big save to give his team a chance.
His biggest stop came five minutes into the extra session when he committed grand theft larceny on Penticton’s Wade Murphy.
Chilliwack led 1-0 through one period on a highlight reel goal by Malcolm Gould, who dusted Vees D-man Kyle Beaulieu on a solo rush up the right wing before depositing the puck behind Penticton netminder Chad Katunar.
Vees starter Michael Garteig missed his second straight playoff start with a ‘lower body injury.’
The Chiefs added to their lead midway through period two on a goal by Spencer Graboski, who stood his ground in front of the Penticton net and jammed in the rebound of a Kit Sitterley shot.
The Vees cut the lead in half with 2:34 left in the middle frame, with Ryan Reilly scoring on a wraparound.
Penticton captain Logan Johnston tied the game 2:38 into period three, pushing the puck across the line in a goal-mouth scramble.
But Chilliwack weathered 16 third period shots, escaping to overtime where Hills produced the winner.
The three stars were Hills (first), Curtis Loik (Penticton, second) and Gillam (third).
Games three and four are back in Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre.
Puck drop for both is 7 p.m.