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BC Hockey League News

Vees captain off to pro camp

The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce graduating forward and Captain Brad McClure (93), has been invited to the Pittsburgh Penguins Prospect Development Camp.

McClure, 20, just completed his two-year Vees career and led the team in scoring in both the 2013-2014 regular season and playoffs.

The Stratford, Ontario native finished fourth in the BCHL with 80 points in 58 regular season games and second in goals with 41.

In the playoffs, “Captain Clutch” led the Vees to a first round sweep of the Merritt Centennials, where he had six goals and nine points in four games.

In the Interior Division Final against the Vernon Vipers, McClure led the Vees with four goals and 12 points in seven games.

At the time of the Vees exit of the BCHL post-season, McClure still sits first in playoff scoring with 10 goals and 21 points in 11 games.

In his two-year BCHL career, McClure played in 137 games, racking up 85 goals and 159 points.

McClure was named to the BCHL All-Rookie team in 2012-2013 and this past season was named a BCHL First Team All-Star. The right-winger is committed to Minnesota State University, Mankato Mavericks next fall.

The Penguins annual Prospect Development Camp is slated for July at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

BCHL grads leave mark

With the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament about to begin Friday, conference awards are rolling in for BCHL graduates and some have also signed with NHL teams.

Below are this season’s recognized BCHL alumni, (their NHL rights), their NCAA school and the last BCHL team played for:

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year:

Mike Reilly (Columbus Blue Jackets) University of Minnesota Golden Gophers – Penticton Vees

ECAC Hockey Best Defensive Defenceman:

Dennis Robertson, (Carolina Hurricanes), Brown University Bears (co-winner) – Langley Chiefs

Hockey East Best Defensive Defenceman:

Josh Manson, (Anaheim Ducks), Northeastern University Huskies – Salmon Arm SilverBacks

Hockey East Rookie of the Year:

Mario Puskarich, forward, University of Vermont Catamounts – Langley Rivermen

NCHC Defenceman of the Year & Offensive Defenceman of the Year

Joey LaLeggia, (Edmonton Oilers), University of Denver Pioneers – Penticton Vees

WCHA Goaltending Champion:

Cole Huggins, Minnesota State University Mavericks – Coquitlam Express

WCHA Outstanding Student of the Year:

Chad Brears, forward, University of Alabama-Hunstville Chargers – Merritt Centennials

Hobey Baker Award, top-ten finalist:

Joel Rumpel, goaltender, University of Wisconsin Badgers – Penticton Vees

NHL signings:

  • Anaheim Ducks: Josh Manson, Northeastern University Huskies – Salmon Arm SilverBacks
  • Vancouver Canucks: Mike Zalewski, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – Vernon Vipers
  • Boston Bruins: (pro tryout) Mike Collins, Merrimack College – Vernon Vipers
  • Winnipeg Jets: (amateur tryout) Colton Beck, University of Alaska – Langley Chiefs
  • Boston Bruins: Ben Sexton, Clarkson University – Penticton Vees

Vipers take out Vees in OT

What looked so promising after forty minutes, turned to heartbreak in just minutes for the Penticton Vees on Saturday.

The Vernon Vipers erased a two-goal third period deficit, to win game seven of the Interior Division Final 4-3 in overtime at the SOEC.

Michael McNicholas played the hero’s role in overtime, scoring just two minutes into the extra frame, ending the Vees 2013-2014 season. It’s the Vipers first Interior Division title since 2011 and the first time in three seasons the Vees fail to reach the Fred Page Cup Final.

It was a dream start for Penticton, as Ben Dalpe opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game, whipping over three thousand fans into a frenzy. Max Coatta moved into the Vipers zone on the left-wing and found Dalpe in front, who squeezed a shot through Austin Smith at 2:43.

The crowd was silenced seconds later however, as Brett Mulcahy scored just sixteen seconds after the Dalpe marker. The puck made its way back to the blue-line and Josh Bryan’s bullet from the point was tipped in by Mulcahy at the top of the crease.

The Vees regained the lead early in the second when Brad McClure and Cody DePourcq teamed up on four-on-four shift. McClure took full advantage of the extra room, as he skated in on the left-wing before throwing a backdoor pass to DePourcq on the glove-side at 5:40.

After some good work on the penalty-kill, the Vees gave themselves some breathing room late in the frame. Erik Benoit beat three Vipers down the right-wing, bouncing off bodies in the process, before centering to Steen Cooper in front. Cooper corralled the puck, and then snapped it over a lunging Smith and into a yawing cage at 18:41.

The Vipers, down 3-1 at the start of the third period and facing elimination, rallied midway through the frame to draw level.

First, Colton Sparrow tapped-in a slick cross-ice pass from McNicolas on the power-play at 7:59 to cut the deficit to one. Then just 73 seconds later, Mulcahy picked up his second of the night, when he crashed the Vees crease after a rebound out front at 9:12.

The Vees had a chance to go ahead in the dying moments of the third, when Cooper was hit with a pass in the Vernon left-circle. Benoit dragged the puck around the net and tossed it over to Cooper, who had room on the blocker side but the puck jumped over his stick with just seven seconds left in regulation.

The Vipers now meet Island Division winners Victoria and Coast Division winners Coquitlam in a three team double round robin to determine which two teams will play in the league final.

The double round robin begins Friday when the Vipers play in Victoria. Vernon will host Coquitlam Sunday.



Warriors season ends, Vipers move on

It will be the Vernon Vipers and the Penticton Vees in the BC Hockey League's Interior Division final.

The Vipers, who will host this year's RBC Cup in May ousted the higher seeded West Kelowna Warriors in six game Tuesday with a 5-0 victory before 1,100 fans at Kal Tire Place.

The Vipers were full value for the win as the Warriors, with a roster depleted due to injury, simply ran out of gas.

The face of veteran Seb Lloyd, playing his last game in a Warrior uniform, said it all as he stood in tears in the hallway in front of the Warriors dressing room for several minutes.

Lloyd, who played game six despite a noticeable limp the day before from a leg injury suffered in game two, returned to the bench staring out onto the empty sheet of ice before finally returning to the room.

Brendan Persley scored twice and added an assist for the victorious Vipers. Brett Mulcahy, TJ Dumonceaux and Liam Coughlin also scored for the Vipers.

The Warriors started quickly and had several good chances in the opening few minutes.

Lloyd had an empty net but his shot deflected off a Vernon defender. A few minutes later, Lloyd had another chance go off Austin Smith's shoulder and off the goal post.

Midway through the first, against the run of play, Colton Sparrow threw a puck on net from the left circle. Warriors goaltender Cody Porter chipped it away with his stick only to have the puck bounce off Mulcahy and in.

Persley made it 2-0 midway through the second. Seconds after a Vernon penalty expired the Warriors were caught on a sloppy line change allowing the Vipers to break in three on one. Michael McNicholas fed a perfect pass to Persely who tapped the puck into the empty side of the net.

Dumonceaux made it 3-0 four minutes later when he banged home a rebound after Porter had made a spectacular save off Demico Hannoun who came in on a clear cut breakaway.

Goals by Coughlin and Persley late in the third sealed the win.

The game was the last in a Warriors uniform for several players who will either graduate due to age restrictions or move on to college or university.

The Vipers will will face the Vees in the interior final beginning Friday night in Penticton.

Warriors stay alive, force game 6

The West Kelowna Warriors won't go quietly into the night.

The Warriors scored four unanswered goals in the second period and weathered a third period onslaught for a 4-1 victory over the Vernon Vipers to force game six in the best-of-seven Interior Division semi-final.

David Pope scored twice including the game winner while Kyler Hope and captain Matt Anholt added singles.

Ben Tegtmeyer added a pair of assists in the win.

Brendan Persley scored the lone Viper goal during a wild scramble in front of Warriors netminder Cody Porter just 87 seconds into the third.

They were unable to beat the Warriors 16-year-old rookie the rest of the way.

The Warriors were buoyed by the return of defenceman Ryan Ivey, who had played just once since Jan 19 and forward Jason Cotton injured in game one of the series.

Ivey agreed it was probably their best effort of the series to date.

"Everybody bought in and we understood that it was do or die," says Ivey.

"We all did our roles, we didn't do too much. Everyone did what they had to do and we pulled away with the victory."

Ivey says belief in one another was probably the biggest difference between game five and the previous three games.

"They realized we were short staffed so maybe we were feeling a little sorry for ourselves. Rylan talked about it really well to keep our heads on straight.

The guys stepped up today. I'm really proud of the guys. We earned it now we have to go into Vernon and win game six too."

After a scoreless first period the Warriors jumped on the Vipers with three goals in a span 5:27 in the middle frame.

Kyler Hope opened the scoring deflecting Jason Cotton's point shot on the Warriors fifth power-play of the night.

Pope made it 2-0 1:26 later on a backhand off a nice fed from Carl Hesler. Pope would strike again on another power-play on a wrist shot from the right point that alluded a screen Austin Smith.

Matt Anholt capped off the Warriors scoring three minutes later.

"It was big in the fact that our backs were against the wall and we were fighting for our lives and I think that's kind of what we did tonight," says Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster.

"I thought we worked pretty hard and I thought it was a pretty even game when you look at the shots. We have to get ready for tomorrow now - we haven't done anything yet, we're still down 3-2 in the series."

The Vipers found themselves in penalty trouble through much of the first two periods. In fact the Warriors wound up with six power-plays during the decisive second period alone.

West Kelowna went 2-9 on the power-play while the Vipers were held without a goal on five opportunities, three of those in the third period in which the Vipers dominated play.

Porter and defenceman Mac Ferner, who must have blocked a dozen shots over these three third period penalty kills were easily the best penalty killers over the course of the game.

The Warriors also lost the services of defenceman Ryan Fraser-Lee who did not come out for the third period with a lower body injury.

His status is day-to-day.

He joins Seb Lloyd, Jordon Masters, Taki Pantziris, Adam Plant and Andy Desautels who all missed the game due to injury.

Vernon forward Dexter Dancs was missing from the Vipers line-up as he sat out game one of a three game suspension for running Desautels Saturday in Vernon.

Ivey says the key to Tuesday's game is simple.

"Get the first goal. As everyone probably knows know the first one who scores wins so absolutely."

Not only has the team that scored first won each game of the series, they have yet to give up the lead or find themselves tied.

Game six in the series is set for Vernon tomorrow night.

Should a seventh game be needed it would be played back at Royal LePage Place Wednesday.


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