The Penticton Vees lead the Fred Page Cup Final series 2-0 after another 4-3 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday at the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC).
It was the second-straight night the Vees edged the Bulldogs by a 4-3 score in what turned out to be a nail-biter game where Alberni Valley had almost tied it up twice where a review by the refs said ‘no goal’ in the third. Also in the third, in front of over 3,100 fans, the Bulldogs had a goal waved off for a handpass.
The series resumes Tuesday, May 16 in Port Alberni for Game Three.
Josh Nadeau had a goal and a pair of helpers for a three-point night. Spencer Smith had a goal and an assist in the win. Bradly Nadeau had two assists.
Smith scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal just before the midway mark of the third period. The 20-year-old was named the game’s first star after his two point night.
After a scoreless first period, in which the Vees outshot the Bulldogs 15-2, the two teams combined for five goals in the middle frame. Penticton scored three times in the second period, whereas the Bulldogs countered with two of their own.
Moravec put Penticton ahead 1-0 three minutes into the second period with his eighth of the playoffs.
Alberni Valley then countered with back-to-back goals to grab their first lead of the series. Brandon Buhr tied it with a shorthanded breakaway just before the eight minute mark. Then with five minutes left in the period, Ethan Bono made it 2-1 after a nice set up by Brady McIsaac.
Penticton responded by scoring two goals in 25 seconds to go up 3-2. Joshua Niedermayer brought the Vees back level with his shot from the top of the slot.
Early in the third period the Bulldogs thought they had tied the game, but Matt Kursonis had his goal waved off after a handpass was called. That came just 18 seconds into the period.
Spencer Smith got the Vees an insurance marker eight and a half minutes into the final frame.
Then Nicholas Beneteau brought the Bulldogs back within one, as he scored on the power play at 11:17 to shave the Vees’ lead to 4-3.
Alberni Valley came close to equalizing on another play late in regulation. With just over six minutes left, Maltais threw the puck at the net, and it bounced off the crossbar, Brandon Buhr, Luca Di Pasquo’s mask and then trickled on the goal line, before being swatted away by Di Pasquo’s glove. After a lengthy video review, the original call stood. No goal.
The Bulldogs pulled their goalie with just over a minute left for the extra attacker, but for the second-straight night the Vees held them at bay.