FORT McMURRAY, AB-Connor Chartier won the Penticton Vees their first Western Canada Cup championship , as he was the overtime hero, in the Vees 4-3 win over the Portage Terries on Saturday at the Casman Centre.
Chartier poked a loose puck over the goal-line after a Dakota Conroy shot squirted through the legs of the Terriers’ goaltender, three-minutes into the overtime frame; Chartier bagging his fifth of the tournament.
Penticton now heads to the RBC Cup as the top-seeded west team and Western Canada Cup champions.
The Vees were leading 3-2 late in the third period but the Terriers tied the game on a six-on-four power-play inside the final-minute. With the goalie pulled for the two-man advantage, Zach Waldvogel tipped a point-shot past Hunter Miska at 19:03.
Skipped back to the first and the Vees opened the scoring when Riley Alferd cleaned up a rebound. Jack Ramsey was stopped in close but Alferd buried the rebound on door step at 7:01.
Portage tied it six-minutes later when they capitalized on a rebound of their own. Miska stopped Taylor Friesen once but the Terriers’ forward poked his own rebound past the laid out Vees puck-stopper at 13:41.
Controversy arose late in the first when the Vees thought they got another go-ahead goal from Alferd. Ramsey’s shot bled through the Terriers’ goaltender but as Alferd poked it in, the referee blew the play dead; the goal was waved-off.
The Vees did break the 1-1 tie early in the second period and just as a power-play was expiring. As the Portage player was stepping out of the penalty-box, Fabbro fired a wrist-shot from the point that found its’ way to the back of the net at 5:17.
Steen Cooper pushed the lead to two on a power-play late in the middle stanza. Cooper followed the shot to the net and potted the rebound over the goalies pad at 15:35.
The two-goal lead was short-lived as the Terriers made it one-goal game just 25-seconds later. After a scramble in front of the Vees net, Tyler Jeanson forced the puck underneath and past Miska; a one-goal heading to the third.
The game ended on an innocent looking rush down the right-wing. Dakota Conroy cut wide then fired the puck to the net from the right-wing. The puck trickled through Justin Laforest and sat on the goal-line to setup Chartier’s heroics.
Final Score: 4-3 Vees
Shots: 37-36 Terriers
Power-Plays: Vees 1-3 Portage 1-3
Hunter Miska was named the Player of the Game for the Vees, after stopping 35 of 37 shots and he made several eye-popping saves. Forward Demico Hannoun captured his second Western Canada Cup trophy in his second appearance at the tournament; Hannoun won the inaugural tournament with Surrey in 2013.
The Vees return to Penticton Monday before they leave for the RBC Cup on Thursday. The 2015 RBC Cup runs May 9th-17th in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Every game will be broadcasted locally on EZ Rock AM 800, or fans can watch online at www.fasthockey.com