(ISN) – NANAIMO, BC-The Penticton Vees sailed back across the Georgia Straight with two wins in their back pocket, after an 8-5 win Tuesday night over the Nanaimo Clippers in game three of the Fred Page Cup Final.
In a back-and-forth affair, the Vees scored four times in the second period to build up a 5-2 lead, before holding off a late Clippers comeback attempt. The best-of-seven Final is now tied 2-2, with game five back in Penticton on Thursday.
Steen Cooper and Tyson Jost each picked up a pair of goals, and Gabe Bast, Mike Lee, Demico Hannoun and affiliate player Jordy Bellerive added singles. Dakota Conroy led the Vees offense with four assists.
Devin Brosseau, Sheldon Rempal, Spencer Hewson, Jake Jackson and Brendan Taylor scored for the Clippers.
Cooper scored the first of 13 goals between the two teams early in the first period. The Vees Assistant Captain followed up a rebound in the crease at 1:52. Before game four, the team that had scored first was 0-3 through the first three games.
Nanaimo then scored twice in three-minutes to take their first and only lead. Brosseau tied at 8:20 when he drove the net and tucked the puck underneath Hunter Miska. Then the Clippers went on the power-play and Rempal put the home team ahead at 11:26 after tipping in a pass.
The Vees found another gear in the second, scoring four times on 16-shots, to build up a three-goal lead.
Bast put the Vees back on even terms early, after he jumped on his own rebound and wrapped the puck around the net and past Guillaume Decelles on the far side at 3:30.
Lee scored his first career playoff goal three-minutes later on the power-play, to put the Vees back ahead. Lees blasted a heavy shot from the slot that beat the Nanaimo netminder over the shoulder at 6:33.
Nanaimo ran into penalty-trouble and the Vees doubled their lead on a five-on-three man-advantage. Hannoun, from a near impossible angle on the goal-line, fired the puck to the net which deflected in past Decelles at 12:58.
Forty-one seconds later Cooper bagged his second at the side of the net on a delayed penalty; Chartier hit Cooper with a cross-crease pass.
Spencer Hewson stopped the bleeding for Nanaimo late in the second, after he jammed a loose puck past Miska at 17:46; the Vees lead cut to 5-3 going into the intermission.
Jost restored the Vees three-goal lead ninety-five seconds into the third. On a rush down the left-wing, Jost broke to the net and roofed the puck short side for his first of two in the period.
15-year-old AP Jordy Bellerive picked up his first career playoff goal four and a half minutes into the final frame. Bellerive showed a burst of speed down the wing before snapping a wrist-shot five-hole at 4:24.
Nanaimo’s Jake Jackson and Brendan Taylor then scored six-minutes apart to cut the Vees lead down to two. Jackson made it 7-4 when he buried a cross-ice pass into an open net at 11:09.
Taylor cut the Vees lead to two when he podded a rebound out front, after the Clippers pulled the goalie for the two-man advantage; the lead down to 7-5 at with two and a half minutes left.
However, Jost stamped out the comeback late, scoring his second into an empty-net at 19:26; his team-leading 10th.
Final Score: 8-5 Vees
Shots: 41-38 Vees
Power-Plays: Vees 2-7 Clippers 1-3
Three Stars: 1) Dakota Conroy 2) Steen Cooper 3) Connor Chartier
The home team is now winless in the first four games of the Fred Page Cup and the Vees have won back-to-back games in Nanaimo, after going winless in their previous four games at Frank Crane Arena.
The series pauses Wednesday, as both teams make their way back to the Okanagan, ahead of game five Thursday at the SOEC; puck drop is 7pm.