Niko Karamanis scored with 2:07 left in double overtime as the Vernon Vipers clipped the Chilliwack Chiefs 3-2 in B.C. Hockey League play before 1,500 fans Wednesday night at Kal Tire Place.
First star Ryan Brushett ragged the puck for about 20 seconds deep inside the Chiefs’ zone before dishing to Karamanis just inches from goalie Mark Sinclair. Karamanis made a quick deke before sliding in his fifth snipe of the season.
Vernon improved to 9-5-2, good for third place in the Interior Division. The Chiefs, who have pocketed points in seven straight games, went to 9-3-2, second in the Mainland Division. Chilliwack ambushed the Snakes 7-2 Saturday night at home.
The teams were tied 1-1 after one period and 2-2 after 40 minutes, Vernon outshot Chilliwack 40-27.
Steven Jandric, with his sixth of the season, and Brushett, with his third, also scored for Vernon. Jandric converted with 32 seconds remaining in Austin Chorney’s holding penalty, burying a rebound in the crease after Michael Ufberg and Carter Stephenson went point to point before Stephenson unleashed a shot from the left side. Brushett used some major wheels and deals before wiring a wrister from the left hashmark for the 2-2 equalizer.
Jordan Kawaguchi (9th) and newbie Justin Dixson (1st) supplied goals for the speedy Chiefs in a highly physical tilt which featured dozens of monster hits and loads of emotion. Kawaguchi connected on a 10-foot wrister on a 5-0-3 man advantage in the opening 20, while Dixson fooled netminder Cole Demers from a tough angle, putting the Chiefs up 2-1.
Sinclair stymied Jagger Williamson with a marvellous leg save from gimme range just 50 seconds into the first overtime session. Captain Riley Brandt delivered a sweet pass from the left corner.
Former Viper Linden Hora shot high over the net on a Grade A scoring chance two minutes later.
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