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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

/ Kevin Mills Photo
Hundreds participate in solidarity parade for transgender student who was bullied

Cars, horses and even planes passed by the Mission waterfront to show support

Just one of more than 200 cats and kittens who were adopted through the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven in 2020, despite the pandemic. (Philip Tingey/ Safe Haven)
More than 200 cats and kittens adopted through Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven in 2020

Successful year took place despite of, or perhaps because of, the COVID-19 pandemic

Kent Search and Rescue sent down three rescuers
UPDATE: Two people involved in ATV rollover 100 feet down ravine in Harrison, at least one injured

Incident happened shortly before 5 p.m. on Harrison East Forest Service Road

An amethyst rock was stolen from Swinstones Granite Shop’s showroom in Chilliwack on Yale Rd. West, and they are hoping it will be spotted and returned. They discovered their window smashed and the purple rock stolen on the morning of Jan. 17, 2020. Here a portion of it is pictured to the right. (Submitted image)
Amethyst stolen from Chilliwack stone shop’s showroom

Window smashed at business where purple rock has been on display for nearly 16 years

Alvin (left) and Theodore, seen here at the Chilliwack SPCA on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, are looking for their ‘furever’ home. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Theodore and Alvin at the Chilliwack SPCA

Don’t overlook senior pets when wanting to adopt an animal says Chilliwack SPCA branch manager

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read