Penticton Vees headed to BCHL Fred Page Cup Final after beating Salmon Arm Silverbacks for Interior Conference championship title

Vees are Interior champions

The Penticton Vees earned their 18th Interior Conference championship in franchise history on Friday night, after beating Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7-4 in game five at the SOEC.

This is the Vees' second consecutive Interior Conference championship and they will be going back to the BCHL Fred Page Cup Final to face the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

It was a scoreless first period but the Vees found their touch in the second as they scored four times on 17 shots to go up 4-1.

Bradly Nadeau scored just six seconds into the second after he took the puck away from the Salmon Arm defenceman at the blueline and fired his shot over the goalie’s shoulder.

Aydar Suniev doubled the Vees lead six minutes into the period, taking a set up from Ben Brunette on a two-on-one rush.

Bradly scored his second of the game on the power play at 10:56 to put Penticton up 3-0, after older brother Josh Nadeau set him up for the one-timer in the circle.

The Silverbacks’ CJ Foley got the visitors on the scoresheet with a shot from the neutral zone to cut the Vees’ lead to 3-1.

Penticton came back as Suniev scored his second of the game to put the Vees up 4-1 with five minutes left in the period.

The third period was intense, as the two teams combined for six goals on just 13 combined shots.

The Vees had a quick start to the third, scoring twice in less than half a minute. First, Billy Norcross scored his first career BCHL Playoff goal that made it 5-1. Then, 17 seconds later, Josh hammered his brother’s cross-ice pass into an open net.

Salmon Arm came in with a three-goal rally to cut the Vees lead to two. Maddux Martin and Isaac Lambert combined to score three goals in five minutes to make it 6-4. Martin scored back-to-back goals before Lambert got the ‘Backs within two.

Frank Djurasevic sealed the Vees' lead with his empty-net goal inside the final two minutes.

With this series win, Harbinson is now the All-Time BCHL Playoff series wins leader at 30, surpassing former Chilliwack Chiefs Head Coach Harvey Smyl. He also now moves into a tie with Kent Lewis for most BCHL Fred Page Cup Final appearances at seven.

The Penticton Vees will face the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the best-of-seven BC Hockey League Fred Page Cup Final, beginning Friday, May 12, at the SOEC.

It’s the first time ever these two franchises will meet in the BCHL Playoffs.

Alberni Valley won their first-ever Cliff McNabb Memorial Trophy as Coastal Conference champions, by sweeping the Chilliwack Chiefs in four-straight games. The Bulldogs are making their first Fred Page Cup Final appearance in franchise history.

Penticton posted a 2-0 record against the Bulldogs during the regular season.

BCHL Fred Page Cup Final Schedule is as follows:

  • Game 1: Friday, May 12th – Alberni Valley at Penticton, 7 p.m.
  • Game 2: Saturday, May 13th – Alberni Valley at Penticton, 7 p.m.
  • Game 3: Tuesday, May 16th – Penticton at Alberni Valley, 7 p.m.
  • Game 4: Wednesday, May 17th – Penticton at Alberni Valley, 7 p.m.
  • Game 5: Saturday, May 20th – Alberni Valley at Penticton, 7 p.m.*
  • Game 6: Monday, May 22nd – Penticton at Alberni Valley, 7 p.m.*
  • Game 7: Wednesday, May 24th – Alberni Valley at Penticton, 7 p.m.*

*If necessary

The Chamberlain Property Group is the presenting sponsor of all Vees’ home playoff games.

Tickets for the Fred Page Cup Final are now available at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC as well as online at valleyfirsttix.com.

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