The Red Deer Vipers penalty killing did them in as they dropped an 8-7 double overtime decision to the Three Hills Thrashers in the opening game of the best-of-three Heritage Junior B Hockey League North Division Survivors Series at the Arena Wednesday.
Blake Bishop scored the Thrashers third power play goal, on six opportunities, at 1:28 of the second extra session after Jonathan Finnigan was assessed a checking from behind penalty at 40 seconds.
The Thrashers grabbed a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Tyrel Severtson and Russell Olsen with the flood gates opening in the second period.
Nick Glackin, Zac Bouw, Justin Corbett, Finnigan and Dustin Spearing scored for the Vipers with Severtson, Cody Phillips, Olsen and Connor Ablett connecting for Three Hills.
Red Deer tied the game at 11:01 of the third period on a goal by Kale Lapointe, but Olsen notched his second power play goal at 12:29. Kolton Gillett evened the count for the Vipers at 18:13.
Anthony Hamill started in goal for Red Deer and allowed one goal on seven shots in the first period before Klay Munro took over for the final 4:49 of the period and gave up a goal on six shots. Munro came back in to start the second period and finished with 23 saves overall. Brady Hoover made 53 saves for Three Hills.
The second game of the series, between the third and fourth place teams in the Northern Division, goes Friday at 8 p.m. in Three Hills with the third game, if necessary, Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Arena.
Winner of the series faces Blackfalds in the North semifinal.