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BC Hockey League News

Vees qualify for BCHL final

Goals from five different scorers plus 20 saves from Hunter Miska turned out to be the right formula for the Penticton Vees in a 5-2 home win over the Chilliwack Chiefs Tuesday.

The win assures the Vees a spot in the BCHL final starting April 10.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the visitors got on the board first Tuesday night with playoff-leading scorer Jake Hand doing the damage. But it was four consecutive Vees goals in response that put them in control of this one. Connor Chartier evened it 1-1 and Jarod Hilderman, with his first BCHL goal since January of 2014, put the Vees up a goal heading to the third.

In the final frame, Tyson Jost and Cam Amantea scored to make it 4-1 and after a Mason Boh goal got the Chiefs back within two, Steen Cooper sealed the deal with an empty-netter.

The Vees will travel to Nanaimo Thursday to take on the Clippers, which finishes up Penticton's portion of the double round-robin semifinals.

A Vees win Thursday keeps the Chiefs alive while a Clippers victory ends Chilliwack's season.


Ex Warrior goes 'Wild'

Former West Kelowna Warriors forward Grayson Downing is set to begin his professional hockey career.

The 22-year-old Abbotsford native signed a two-year entry level contract with the NHL's Minnesota Wild this week.

The NHL portion of the deal will kick in next season.

Downing played three season with the Warriors, from 2008 through 2011. He amassed 65 goals and 64 assists in 132 games with the Warriors.

He went on the the University of New Hampshire, where he compiled 56 goals and 56 assists in 144 games over four seasons.

Downing's 21 goals this season led New Hampshire in scoring. They ranked him third in Hockey East and 13th in the NCAA.

According to the Wild, Downing will report to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League on an amateur tryout agreement for the remainder of this season.

Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks signed former Penticton netminder Joel Remple to a one-year entry level contract.

He will be assigned to the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League.

During two seasons with the Vees, Rumple posted a career 46-15-3 record in the BCHL to go along with a .914 save percentage, 2.34 goals-against average and three shutouts.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder backstopped Wisconsin to two appearances in the NCAA tournament and was a 2014 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

Vees clip Clips

The Penticton Vees started off the BCHL round robin with a convincing 4-1 victory over the Island Division champion Nanaimo Clippers.

The Vees, coming off a thrilling 2-0 game seven victory over the Vernon Vipers Sunday in the Interior final, didn’t disappoint following up with a great effort from top to bottom on Wednesday, and in front of a great crowd of 2,433 at the SOEC.

However the Vees did face some adversity early, as Nanaimo went ahead eight-minutes into the opening frame. Cole Maier picked up a loose puck right in front of the Vees net and snapped a wrister past Hunter Miska’s glove at 8:07.

Dante Fabbro brought the Vees back level early in middle stanza, as he wired a shot over Guillaume Decelles blocker at 2:39. As a Vees power-play expired, Fabbro stepped over the blue-line and picked the corner on the far-side; his third of the post-season.

That goal acted as a springboard for the Vees, as they scored three more to cruise to their third straight win.

Riley Alferd scored his third goal in five games late in the second, giving the Vees their first lead of the night.

Inside the final three-minutes of the frame, Alferd found a loose puck in front of the net and stretched out and wrapped it around the pad of Decelles at 17:07.

Pat Newell kept it going in the opening moments of the third, as he made it 3-1 sixty-seven into the frame. Newell was first to a rebound at the side of the net and put just enough English on the puck, to force it over the goal-line and past the stick of a Nanaimo defender; Newell’s third and second in three games.

Dakota Conroy gave the Vees power-play a much needed jolt three-minutes later.

On a rare four-on-three man-advantage, Conroy found the corner of the net from the left-circle at 4:23; his fifth capping off the scoring.

Coast Division champion Chilliwack will host Nanaimo Friday in game two of the three team double round robin.

The Vees will play in Chilliwack Sunday before hosting the Chiefs Tuesday.

The two teams with the best records will meet in the best-of-seven BCHL championship series.


Vees take game 7 thriller

The Penticton Vees have captured the BCHL's Interior Division title in a thrilling 2-0 win over the Vernon Vipers in game seven Sunday night in Penticton.

There were no goals at all until late in the third when Patrick Sexton scored for the Penticton Vees at 17:07 of the final frame for what turned out to be the game winner.

Penticton had three power-play opportunities through regulation and Vernon was given two but neither team could convert on special teams. Penticton outshot Vernon 20-16 through 40 minutes and 29-17 overall.

Sexton's goal was all they needed as Hunter Miska posted his second series-ending shutout of the playoffs. Matthew Serratore added an empty-netter in the dying seconds.

Penticton will be the #1 seed for the round three double round robin. They will host Nanaimo in game one of round three on Wednesday, March 25.

In Nanaimo, Cole Maier's goal just 18 seconds into the third period stood up as the game- and series-winning goal for the Clippers in a thrilling game seven win at home over the Powell River Kings.

Spencer Hewson got the Clips on the board 2:36 into the first and it remained 1-0 Nanaimo until Stephen Hiff equalized for Powell River after the midway point of the second. Nick Gushue and Derin Hamilton then swapped goals to make it 2-2 going to the final frame.

Maier wasted no time, talling the decisive marker on the first shift of the third period. Powell River poured all they had at the Clips in the final 20 minutes outshooting them 12-9 and 35-34 for the game but couldn't beat Guillaume Decelles to tie it.

Nanaimo advances as the #2 seed for the double round robin.

Chilliwack is the number three seed after earlier dispatching the Prince George Spruce Kings in the Coast Division final.

Vees force Game 7

By Wayne Emde

The Penticton Vees evened their BCHL playoff series with the Vernon Vipers, Saturday.

The Vees downed the Vipers 5-1 before a near-sellout crowd at Kal Tire Place in Vernon, evening the series at three games each.

The Penticton win forces a Game 7, which goes Sunday evening in Penticton.

In the photo above, Vees forward Cam Amantea beats Vipers goalie Danny Todosychuk in the second period to put his team in the lead.

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