Vees advance to Fred Page Cup Final

Penticton dumps Chilliwack to advance to BCHL championship

CHILLIWACK CHIEFS forward Tipper Higgins reaches for the puck as he tried to beat Penticton Vees goalie Hunter Miska with defenceman Miles Gendron back checking during Tuesday's BCHL round-robin game at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The Vees won the game 5-2 and have advanced to the Fred Page Cup Final

CHILLIWACK CHIEFS forward Tipper Higgins reaches for the puck as he tried to beat Penticton Vees goalie Hunter Miska with defenceman Miles Gendron back checking during Tuesday's BCHL round-robin game at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The Vees won the game 5-2 and have advanced to the Fred Page Cup Final

For the third time in four years, the Penticton Vees will play for the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup championship.

The Vees punched their ticket to the league championship with a 5-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs Tuesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre in front of a crowd of 2,508.

“It feels great. It’s a season goal of ours to play for the title,” said Vees assistant captain Steen Cooper. “We’re playing some good hockey right now. I think all the boys are pretty excited.”

After a scoreless opening period in which the Chiefs outshot the Vees 8-7, the home team surrendered the opening goal at 6:08 of the second when Jake Hand beat Vees goalie Hunter Miska on a screen shot. The play started after Scott Davidson chipped the puck into the Vees zone and Hand grabbed it, then circled back near the blue line coming back down the wing when he fired a shot.

That lead lasted seven minutes when Dakota Conroy fed Connor Chartier for his ninth goal of the playoffs. Chartier scored the equalizer as he caught David Jacobson sliding the wrong way and the puck tucked inside the far post. Cooper said they showed heart after the Chiefs opened the scoring.

“We didn’t get down,” said Cooper, who buried the Vees’ fifth goal on the power play into an empty net. “We kind of just all linked arms and went on our way. That shows a lot of character out of each and every one of the guys. It was a good team effort.”

Four minutes after Chartier’s marker, Vees d-man Jarod Hilderman, named the second star, gave the Vees a 2-1 lead when his shot deflected off of Roberts’ stick for his first goal of the season.

“I feel all playoffs I have been getting some pretty good looks at the net,  finally this one went in,” said Hilderman. “It’s nice to get that one. Big goal to go up 2-1. I just think after they got one we sagged for about a minute there. Then we got on our high horse and grounded them down for the rest of that second period. To go up into the third was huge.”

 

In the third period, the Vees distanced themselves on goals by Tyson Jost, the winner, and Cam Amantea. Jost won a battle for the puck behind the net then skated into the slot, spun and fired a shot past Jacobson. The fourth goal was the result of great patience by co-captain Cody DePourcq, named first star with a two-assist performance, as he held onto the puck behind the net then moved to the side before finding Amantea at the top of the crease where he banged home a shot high past Jacobson’s blocker.

“We had ups and downs in the game. There were definitely times we were on the ropes as well,” said Conroy, who finished with two assists on the night. “We found a way to win. Getting pucks to the net. Scoring from a whole bunch of guys tonight. Even my roommate (Hilderman) decided to put one in for the boys. Pretty big night for the kid.”

When Hilderman scored, Conroy and Chartier, the other roommate, looked at each other on the bench started hugging.

“It was pretty hilarious. Him coming by the bench looking all fired up,” said Conroy, adding the they would likely bug Hildermand about the goal that night.

The Chiefs made it 4-2 when Mason Boh beat Miska in tight at 10:52. At 18:32 on the power play, Steen Cooper, the third star, scored an empty netter after Conroy was dumped to the ice attempting to score himself. Miska finished with 20 saves on 22 shots, while Jacobsen also turned aside 20.

Roberts said the Chiefs battled hard, but the Vees had bounces go their way. He said both teams played well.

“It was fun to be a part of, unfortunately the result didn’t go our way,” said Roberts, who is committed to Alaska Achorage Seawolves. “After we got the lead I think we just tried to settle in and try to keep playing the way we started.”

Once the Vees took a 2-1 lead, Roberts didn’t sense momentum shifting away from them.

“The guys tried to stay focused. They just kept pushing on us,” he said. “We tried to push back. They are a fast skilled team. We’re a fast skilled team and the games have been fun to play.”

While the Chiefs were without forwards Luke McColgan, who has played just three playoff games, Liam Ferguson, and d-man Brandon Tkachuk, Roberts felt others stepped up including affiliate players Ryan Roseboom and Jesse Lansdell.

“We skated well, we were physical,” added Robets. “Excited to hopefully get another chance.”

The Vees will now travel to Nanaimo to take on the Clippers at Frank Crane Arena on April 2. A Vees win would give the Chiefs another chance to advance as they would face the Clippers at home on April 4. The Chiefs are now 0-3, while the Clippers are 1-1 after Tuesdays action.

 

Just Posted

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read