Cam Amantea came up clutch, while Riley Alferd was the dagger as the Penticton Vees downed the Nanaimo Clippers 3-2 to take Game 5 in the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup.
On a night in which co-captain Cody DePourcq was recognized for everything he has done over four years for the Vees, his teammates once again rose to the occasion to deliver a win for the heart and soul of the team.
Twice the Vees found themselves down a goal in front of a crowd of 2,349 at the South Okangan Events Centre and managed to find the equalizer.
The crucial one was scored by Amantea, who burst into the Clippers zone from the penalty box side cut to the front of the Clippers net and tucked a shot just inside the post and past Guillaume Decelles glove as the penalty to Kale Bennett had expired four seconds later, at 11:44 of the third.
Just under four minutes later Alferd, named the game’s first star, snapped home the winner as his stick exploded in his hands. Alferd, who is joining the University of Nebraska-Omaha next fall, was found by Jack Ramsey in the top of the slot area while skating behind the goal. The shot appeared to deflect off of Decelles glove.
The first period was scoreless, though the Vees held a 13-7 shot advantage. In the second period, in which the Vees led in shots again, 16-10 this time, Corey Renwick opened the scoring for the Clippers with a shot that beat Hunter Miska high glove. Demico Hannoun evened the score as Patrick Newell, the game’s second star, set him up for one-timer that beat Decelles high. Vees co-captain Patrick Sexton also collected an assist on the goal. Ryan Forbes scored the Clippers final goal unassisted at 16:46 of the second period when Miska got tangled up with a Clipper trying to handle the puck. Miska was able to make up for his mistake as he assisted on Amantea’s goal with Matthew Serratore, who also helped setup the winner. Decelles was named the game’s third star.
The Vees now return to Nanaimo for Game 6 Friday where they will try to finish off the series at Frank Crane Arena to advance to the Western Canada Cup for the first time.