Vees stun Slammers for RBC title

The BCHL's Penticton Vees won the Canadian junior A championship with a come-from-behind win over the Woodstock Slammers.

The Penticton Vees won the 2012 RBC Cup with a 4-3 win over the Woodstock Slammers Sunday night.

Penticton won its second national championship. Their previous win came in 1986 when the team was known as the Knights.

The Vees are the third Pacific region team to win the RBC Cup in the last four years, and the 10th team from the BCHL to be crowned national champions since the start of the five-team format in 1990.

Joey Benik scored the game-winning goal with 51.3 seconds remaining as the Vees battled back from a 3-2 third-period deficit.

Penticton led 2-0 just 12:18 in on goals from Travis St. Denis and Steven Fogarty. But the Slammers, who knocked off the host Humboldt Broncos in Saturday’s semifinals, staged a comeback from two goals down for the second day in a row.

Bradley Greene got Woodstock on the board just 61 seconds after Fogarty’s goal. Nick Huard tied it eight minutes into the second period on a Slammers power play, and Greene’s second goal 90 seconds after the puck dropped to start the third period gave the East region champions their first lead at 3-2.

The Vees, who trailed in all four of their preliminary round games, tied the game at 11:10 of the third period when Bryce Gervais poked a loose puck past Woodstock goaltender Matt Murphy after Fogarty’s initial shot had hit the post.Benik’s game winner was a hot shot from the slot off a pass from St. Denis.

St. Denis and Fogarty finished with a goal and an assist each for the Vees, while Mike Reilly and Mario Lucia had two helpers apiece.

Penticton became the first team since the Vernon Vipers in 1999 to win  the national championship after starting the tournament 0-2.