PENTICTON, BC-The Penticton Vees opened up their defense of the BCHL Fred Page Cup in style, skating to a 6-3 win over the Vernon Vipers in Game One of their Interior Division Semi-Final.
The Vees now lead the best-of-seven series 1-0, with Game Two scheduled for Sunday, March 6th, at 6pm.
BCHL MVP, Tyson Jost, carried over his standout regular season into the playoffs as the Vees’ Captain scored and finished with a team best three points. Scott Conway bagged a pair of power-play goals, and Nic Jones, Owen Sillinger and Taylor Ward also scored in the win. Anthony Brodeur kicked out 16 of 19 shots for his first playoff win.
Liam Finlay led the Vipers with a pair of goals and Odeen Tufto added a second period power-play goal, as Vernon now looks for a split on Sunday.
It was the Vipers who got a jump on the Vees, as Finlay opened the scoring just before the four-minute mark on Vernon’s first power-play. Off a face-off, the puck came to Bo Pellah and the defenceman swung a pass over to Finlay, who tapped it in at 3:48.
The Vees made the most of their first power-play too, as they tied the game on the man-advantage. From the left-wing, Conway had his shot blocked but the puck hopped back to him, and he squeezed his second attempt through the goalie’s legs at 12:10.
The goal seemed to spark the home team, as the Vees went ahead a minute and a half later. Jost followed a blocked shot to the side of the net and from a sharp angle, he found room between the goalie and the post at 13:45.
Penticton kept coming and they added one more before the period was out. Luke Voltin forced a turnover down-low and Jones came in and fired a pass out to Ward in front of the net at 13:45; Ward hammering home his first career playoff goal.
The Vees added to their lead in the second and quickly, as Conway and Sillinger scored just 14-seconds apart. Conway made it 4-1 after he finished off a great passing play down low on the power-play. Jost, Jones and Conway concocted a nifty tick-tack-toe passing play, which resulted in Conway finishing-off a cross crease pass at 12:18. As they were announcing the Conway goal, Jost came back in off the face-off and centered for Sillinger who wired a shot over the goalie’s glove from the slot at 12:32.
Vernon cut into the deficit late in the middle stanza, as their power-play struck again. Tufto’s shot from the slot took a deflection off a stick in front and knuckled past Brodeur at 17:17.
The two teams traded goals in the third period, with Jones restoring the Vees four-goal lead midway through the frame. Jones followed up Mitch Brooks’ shot to the net and roofed the rebound at 9:18.
Finlay got one back for Vernon a couple minutes later, banking in a shot from below the goal-line, off a skate in the Vees’ crease at 11:41.
Final Score: 6-3 Vees
Shots: 47-19 Vees
Power-Plays Vees 2-5 Vernon 2-2
Three Stars: 1) Tyson Jost 2) Scott Conway 3) Nic Jones
The Vees look for a 2-0 series lead Sunday in Game Two at the SOEC; puck drop is 6 pm.