Vees blank Chiefs

The Penticton Vees closed out their regular season on a winning note Friday, blanking the Chilliwack Chiefs 3-0 at Prospera Centre.

Nicholas Jones broke the game open midway through the third period with the first goal of the night before adding another on a power-play to put the Vees up by two.

Mat Robson stopped 27 shots for his sixth shutout as the Vees leapfrogged the Chiefs for second spot in the BC Hockey League overall standings.

Duncan Campbell added a short-handed, empty-net goal with just 48-seconds left to seal the Vees 41st win and their second against the Chiefs this season.

In other BCHL action, the Vernon Vipers fell 3-1 to the Trail Smoke Eaters in Trail Friday evening.

Jimmy Lambert notched the lone Vipers goal.

The Snakes will have a shot at redeeming themselves when they host the Smokies at Kal Tire Place this evening. Game time is 6 p.m.

Warriors spanked on road

The West Kelowna Warriors chances of finishing third in the Interior Division took a hit Friday night.

The Warriors came out on the wrong end of an 8-3 pasting in Merritt. That loss, coupled with Trail's 3-1 win over Vernon, leaves the Warriors two points behind the third-place Smoke Eaters.

Both teams have one game remaining in the regular season Saturday.

Friday started promising for the Warriors. Twice in the opening period, the Warriors grabbed a one-goal lead, however, on both occasions, the Centennials were able to quickly come back and tie it.

They broke the game open in the second with three unanswered goals, including a shorthanded effort from captain Brett Jewell, that snapped the 2-2 tie.

The Warriors had chances to get the equalizer on the power play in the middle frame, but were unable to beat Jacob Berger.

Jewel again and Zachary Zorn with his first of two put Merritt up three before the end of the second.

Stephan Seeger also score twice for the Centennials.

Quin Foreman, Parm Dhaliwal and Chase Dubois replied for the Warriors.

Gabriel Morency was pulled after allowing five goals on 17 shots. Owen Patrick was sent in, allowing the other three goals in his BCHL debut.

The Warriors close out the regular season Saturday in Salmon Arm.

They must beat the Silverbacks and have the Vipers knock off Trail in regulation time to finish third.

The third place team will face Salmon Arm in the first round of the playoffs while the fourth place team will draw Merritt in round one.

The playoffs begin next Friday. Regardless who they play, the first two games of the first round will be played at Royal LePage Place Friday and Saturday.

Vees face upset in OT

The Penticton Vees dropped a close one in Surrey Thursday, with a former teammate putting the final nail in the coffin.

The Surrey Eagles upset the high-ranking Vees at the South Surrey Arena, securing a 4-3 overtime win.

Despite netting the first goal just 10 seconds into the game, the Vees slowed, ending up down 3-1 after the first frame.

They came out strong in the second, tying the game at three, but a scoreless third period sent the two teams to overtime.

Surrey took control of the game in the extra period, outshooting the Vees 7-0.

Darius Davidson, a former Penticton Vees player, ended the game, and his BCHL career, with a late goal from just inside the blue line.

The Eagles goalie, also his last game in the BCHL, stopped 38 shots in the win.

The Vees head back to Penticton tonight for their final home game of the season against the Chilliwack Chiefs, who sit two points ahead of the Vees. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

Awards finalists named

The BC Hockey League has unveiled the finalists for its annual season ending awards.

Following an initial vote by all 17 league coaches, finalist from each of the three divisions have been determined for the five major awards.

A second round of coaches voting will take place to determine each of the winners,. Those will be announced next week, prior to the start of the playoffs.

Here are the finalists for the 2016-17 BCHL awards:

MVP (Vern Dye Memorial Trophy)

  • Island: Matthew Galajda, goaltender, Victoria Grizzlies
  • Mainland: Brendan Harris, forward, Wenatchee Wild
  • Interior: Mat Robson, goaltender, Penticton Vees

Rookie of the Year (Bruce Allison Memorial Trophy)

  • Island: Cam Donaldson, forward, Powell River Kings
  • Mainland: Brendan Budy, forward, Langley Rivermen
  • Interior: Zach Risteau, forward, Merritt Centennials

Top Defenceman Trophy

  • Island: Jake Stevens, Victoria Grizzlies
  • Mainland: Tyler Anderson, Prince George Spruce Kings
  • Interior: Michael Ufberg, Vernon Vipers 

Most Sportsmanlike Player (Bob Fenton Trophy)

  • Island: Cam Donaldson, forward, Powell River Kings
  • Mainland: Brendan Harris, forward, Wenatchee Wild
  • Interior: Grant Cruikshank, forward, Penticton Vees

Coach of the Year (Joe Tennant Memorial Trophy)

  • Island: Craig Didmon, Victoria Grizzlies
  • Mainland: Bliss Littler, Wenatchee Wild
  • Interior: Fred Harbinson, Penticton Vees 

The BCHL’s goaltender awards are not voted on. The goaltending award will go to the goalie with the lowest goals against average and at least 1,000 minutes played. Darion Hanson of Vernon currently leads with a 1.84 goals against average.

The Wally Forslund Award for best goalie tandem goes to the goalie teammates with the lowest combined goals-against average. Penticton leads that category with 125 goals surrendered.

Other league awards that are not voted on are the Brett Hull Award for top scorer and the Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy for the team with the best regular-season record.

With 90 points, Wenatchee has already clinched the overall league title while Brendan Harris of the Wild is the runaway points leader with 96.

The league's regular season concludes Sunday with only playoff positioning left to be determined.

In the Interior Division, the West Kelowna Warriors and Trail Smoke Eaters are battling for third while Merritt and Salmon Arm are fighting for fifth.

In the Island Division, Nanaimo trails third place Cowichan Valley by a single point. Both have two games left.

Each of the opening round series begins next Friday night.

BCHL playoff tickets on sale

The Penticton Vees have released BCHL Fred Page Cup playoff pricing and introduce a new “Vees Only” Western Canada Cup tournament package.

The new Vees Only WCC tournament package is $130 and includes the Vees’ four round-robin games and the three WCC playoff games. If fans buy a package right now, they’ll be entered to win a luxury suite for 10 for a Western Canada Cup game, including a food and beverage credit.

Western Canada Cup chair David Michaud says this package is the first of its kind for the tournament.

“We’ve been receptive to Vees fans who want to watch their team at the WCC, and we feel this Vees Only package will allow all our fans to secure a seat, in what should be a fantastic tournament.”

The Vees also announced pricing for 2017 Fred Page Cup playoff packages will go on sale to season ticket holders on Thursday at 10 a.m. Season ticket holders can buy the entire playoff package at $168 for adults and $140 for seniors – the same pricing as last season.

If all games aren't played, the remaining balance will be put towards your season tickets for the 2017-18 season. That’s a $4 savings per ticket over general playoff pricing.

Deadline for season ticket holders to secure their seats for the playoffs is 5 p.m. on Mar. 13. After that, seats will be released to the general public.

Single game playoff tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for seniors and are available at the Valley First box office. Students 18 years and under and children playoff tickets are free.

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