VICTORIA, B.C. - Cole Ikkala scored in overtime as the Vernon Vipers remained undefeated and earned provincial bragging rights with a 5-4 win over the Victoria Grizzlies in Tuesday's round-robin action at the RBC Cup.
The Vipers improved to 3-0 at the national Tier II junior A hockey championship, and can finish the round-robin with a perfect record by beating the Ontario-based Kingston Voyageurs on Thursday.
After having his first attempt blocked Ikkala snapped a shot from the slot past the blocker of Victoria netminder Anthony Grieco, giving the Pacific Region champions their third win in as many tries.
The Cougars (1-2) took a 4-2 lead to the dressing room after 40 minutes and appeared poised to hand Vernon its first loss of the tournament. But Kellen Jones and Mike Collins scored in the third period to set up Ikkala's heroics.
Ikkala assisted on Collins' game-tying goal, which came with less than two minutes to play in regulation.
Chris Crowell and Bryce Kakoske also scored for Vernon.
Cody Bremner, Brian Nugent, Sam Higgins and Jonathan Milhouse replied for Victoria.
The Grizzlies play the Summerside Western Capitals from P.E.I. on Wednesday, while Kingston meets the defending champion Humboldt Broncos from Saskatchewan.