The Langley Chiefs hold on second place — and a first round playoff bye — are hanging by a thread.
The Chiefs lost both ends of a home-and-home series with the Interior Conference-leading Penticton Vees, including blowing a late third-perid late and falling in overtime to gain just a single point from their weekend of work.
The less-than-stellar results leave Langley with a record of 25-16-1-7, good for 58 points with 11 games remaining. But the third-place Surrey Eagles gained some ground on the weekend, picking up four points to pull one back of the Chiefs. Surrey has also played four fewer games.
On Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre, the Chiefs were 3:12 away from earning the victory and the split with the Vees.
But Penticton’s Brendan O’Donnell forced overtime with a power-play goal, the Vees’ fourth score with the man advantage.
Garrett Milan then potted the winner 3:49 into extra time, and 33 seconds after Langley squandered a four-on-three power play opportunity.
Kit Sitterley, Brad McBride, Dillon Scholten and Josh Myers scored for the Chiefs, while Steven Iacobellis, Logan Johnston, Joey Holka and Brendan O’Donnell, with two goals, countered for the Vees.
In Friday’s match at the South Okanagan Events Centre, Josh Hansen gave Langley an early lead, but that would be the only time the Chiefs were ahead.
Joey Laleggia and Mark MacMillan put the Vees ahead 2-1, and 40 seconds after Kody Dhaliwal tied the score, Holka restored the lead going into the locker room.
Milan had the only score of the second period and both teams tallied twice in the third: Trevor Gerling and Darnell Dyck for the Chiefs, with Joey Benik and Tyler Hlookoff responding for the Vees.
The Chiefs, who have just two overtime points to show for their last four games, will look to return to the win column on Thursday (Jan. 20) with a home date against the Nanaimo Clippers at the Langley Events Centre.
They also host the Westside Warriors on Saturday night before facing off on Sunday afternoon at the South Surrey Arena in a crucial match against the Eagles.