(ISN) – PENTICTON, BC-The Penticton Vees are going back to the Fred Page Cup Final after a 5-2 win over the Chilliwack Chiefs Tuesday in front of 2,500 fans at the SOEC.
Connor Chartier, Jarod Hilderman, Tyson Jost, Cam Amantea and Steen Cooper scored in the win, which was the Vees fifth in a row, dating back to the Interior Division Final against Vernon. Hunter Miska picked up his BCHL-leading 11th post-season win, steering aside 20 of 22 shots fired his way.
The win assures the Vees one of the two spots in the BCHL Final, which starts in Penticton on April 10th.
Jake Hand and Mason Boh scored for the Chiefs who dropped to 0-3 in the BCHL Double Round-Robin, and need a Vees win in Nanaimo on Thursday, to keep their season alive.
After a scoreless first period, Hand put the visitors ahead six-minutes into the second with a seeing-eye wrist-shot from the right-wing. The Chiefs leading scorer did a lap in the Penticton end, before firing a dart from the right-circle at 6:08.
The Vees leading goal-getter brought the home side back level midway through the middle stanza. Connor Chartier took a pass from Dakota Conroy on an odd-man rush, and snapped a shot underneath David Jacobson on the far-side at 13:30; Chartier’s team-leading ninth of the playoffs.
Then the Vees grabbed the lead four-minutes later and from an unlikely source. Jarod Hilderman snuck between the circles and fired a one-timer low and inside the far-post at 17:24; Hilderman’s first goal in 65 games, going back to March 21st, 2014.
Tyson Jost added some insurance early in the third period on a great individual effort. Jost carved out from behind the net and spun and fired a wrist-shot on the short-side at 2:24; Jost bagging his first goal in seven games.
Cam Amantea padded the lead four-minutes after that, as he cashed-in on a great pass from behind the net. Cody DePourcq shook off a defender and dished the biscuit out to Amantea at the top of the crease; Amantea scoring his fourth at 6:48.
Mason Boh stopped the bleeding for the Chiefs midway through the third off a face-off in the Vees end. Jake Larson threw it out to Boh in front for the tap-in at 10:52.
Steen Cooper put the game on ice late in the third, when he slid his third of the post-season into an empty-net at 18:32; a power-play goal after Chilliwack took a late goalie interference penalty.
Final Score: 5-2 Vees
Shots: 24-22 Vees
Power-Plays: 1-1 Chiefs 0-0
Three Stars: 1) Cody DePourcq 2) Jarod Hilderman 3) Steen Cooper
DePourcq, Chartier and Conroy all finished with two point nights. Tonight was the first goal at the SOEC in Jarod Hilderman’s BCHL career; his other two career goals came in Vernon. The Vees improved their home playoff record to 7-2 in the victory.
The Vees now travel down to Vancouver Island on Wednesday, ahead of their Round-Robin finale against the Nanaimo Clippers on Thursday; face-off is 7pm. Game one of the BCHL Fred Page Cup Final is set for Friday, April 10th, in Penticton and tickets go on sale Wednesday morning at 10 am at the Valley First box office (at the SOEC).