Chilliwack Chiefs goaltender Mitch Gillam makes a save in the second period of Tuesday night's game against the Penticton Vees at Prospera Centre.

Chilliwack Chiefs goaltender Mitch Gillam makes a save in the second period of Tuesday night's game against the Penticton Vees at Prospera Centre.

Chiefs stun Vees with win in game four

Chilliwack evened their first round series versus Penticton with a 3-1 win Tuesday night at Prospera Centre.

If the Penticton Vees thought they were going to cruise through the first round of the BCHL playoffs, they were sorely mistaken. Through four games of their opening round playoff series with the hometown Chilliwack Chiefs, the Vees find themselves in a war.

A 3-1 Chilliwack win Tuesday night at Prospera Centre has things knotted at 2-2, and the Chiefs are guaranteed another home date. And a Penticton team that has faced little to no adversity this season  must figure out a way to overcome a gritty Chiefs squad that refuses to go away quietly.

Welcome to playoff hockey in the BCHL.

Special teams were the difference in the first period Tuesday night.

Chilliwack had one power play opportunity and made it count, scoring the only goal of the opening frame.

It came at 3:58, with Travis St. Denis serving two minutes for tripping. Malcolm Gould pulled the trigger on a sharp-angle shot, roofing the puck over diving defenceman Nick Buchanan and Vees goaltender Chad Katunar.

Anderson White and Alexandre Perron-Fontaine drew the assists.

The other side of the special teams battle saw Chilliwack’s penalty killers snuff out two Penticton power plays.

The Chiefs played with fire, taking a couple needless penalties. But Chilliwack players fearlessly threw themselves in front of shots, and got a couple stellar saves from Mitch Gillam to keep the Vees off the board.

Gillam’s biggest stop came seconds after a Spencer Graboski elbowing minor elapsed when he stretched post to post to rob Penticton captain Logan Johnston.

Special teams continued to be the story in period two.

The Chiefs came up empty on three power plays, but scored two goals seconds after penalties had elapsed.

The first came as Johnston stepped out of the box after serving a kneeing minor. Chilliwack defenceman Alex Perron-Fontaine nabbed a loose puck, darted behind the Penticton net and came out the other side with a wrap-around, stuffing the puck into the cage to put the Chiefs up by two.

The second came as Mike Reilly stepped out of the box after serving a double minor for high sticking. Gould threw the puck on net from the right corner, and Derek Huisman out-fought a pair of Penticton defenders to punch it past Katunar.

Chilliwack out-shot the Vees 18-7 in period two.

The Chiefs started the third period on the penalty kill, with 1:14 still remaining in a Ty Miller holding minor.

Vees coach Fred Harbinson employed some interesting strategy on the PP, pulling Katunar to get a six-on-four advantage. But Chilliwack held on and Katunar returned to his net the second Miller got out of the box.

Penticton crept one goal closer at the 2:18 mark of period three on a goal by Mario Lucia, who scored on a wrist shot from the Home Depot ad, about 15 feet inside the Chiefs blueline. The Vees spent the next four minutes blitzing the Chilliwack net, but couldn’t get closer.

The Chiefs settled down, and then got some help from Johnston, who took a really bad penalty with just over four minutes left. For no particularly good reason at all, the Vees captain ran over Gillam and took two minutes for goalie interference.

Chiliwack didn’t score on the PP, but it did keep Penticton on the defensive for two minutes.

The penalty ended and the Vees pulled Katunar with 1:35 left, but the Chiefs weathered one final storm to escape with another unlikely win.

Who saw any of this coming?

The three stars were Gould (first), Gillam (second) and David Thompson (third).

Game five of this series is Thurdsay night in Penticton. Game six is back in Chillwack Friday night, with a 7 p.m. puck drop.

 

— A side story of Tuesday’s game was the plight of a busload of Vees fans who rolled into the rink halfway through the first period.

At Monday’s game, four Chiefs fans showed up with drums and added some really good atmosphere. They doubled their number for Tuesday’s game, sitting six rows behind the Penticton bench. When the Vees fans found their seats, their tickets put them in the five rows directly in front of the drummers.

They weren’t pleased, and odds are Pentictonites will somehow repay the favour when a busload of Chilliwack fans heads up there for Thursday night’s game.

Just Posted

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
Student’s quote in Chilliwack high school yearbook equates graduation with end of slavery

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

(Maps.Chilliwack.com)
RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Doses prepared at pop-up vaccine clinic in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood, in the M3N postal code, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. ( THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston)
4 vaccine clinics coming to Neighbourhood Learning Centre

Fraser Health made clinics ‘low-barrier’ meaning pre-registration not required

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

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

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read