Vernon Vipers 4 - Brockville Braves 2
THIRD-PERIOD COMEBACK CLINCHES SECOND PLACE FOR VERNON
DAUPHIN, Man. – There will be no tiebreakers, no mathematical formulas for the Vernon Vipers at the 2010 RBC Cup.
Sahir Gill’s goal 1:14 into the third period kick-started a four-goal outburst for the Vipers that helped erase a 2-0 deficit after 40 minutes and led to a 4-2 victory over the Brockville Braves on Wednesday afternoon, clinching second spot in the round robin. That’s important because it means the defending champions will be the home team for their Saturday semifinal.
Knowing a win would help their quest for the No. 2 seed, the Braves struck early, with captain Shayne Thompson converting on a breakaway just 3:44 in on Brockville’s first shot on goal.
It was a rude welcome for Vernon netminder Blake Voth, who was making his first appearance in the Vipers’ net since playing the third period of Game 6 of the B.C. Hockey League final against Powell River on April 10.
Despite being outshot 16-10 in the first period, Brockville pushed its lead to 2-0 early in the second period when Thompson and Sebastien Gingras combined to set up Shayne Stockton, who beat Voth for his second of the tournament, and sent the East Region champions to the dressing up by a pair after two.
Frustrated by Braves goaltender Justin Gilbert through 40 minutes, Gill finally broke the Vipers’ goose egg 74 seconds into the final frame, and Patrick McGillis pulled Vernon even 1:50 later, slipping a wraparound under Gilbert.
The Pacific Region representatives continued to pressure the Braves, and were rewarded with 2:35 to go when David Robinson blasted a shot over the glove of Gilbert on a two-on-one, capping off the comeback.
Cole Ikkala rounded out the scoring into an empty net with 59 seconds to go.
Vernon outshot Brockville 44-27, including 21-8 in the pivotal third period.
The Braves wrap up the round robin on Thursday night when they take on La Ronge (7 p.m. CT) in a game that will decide third and fourth, while the Vipers will not see action again until their semifinal on Saturday afternoon (2 p.m. CT).