Photo: Cherie Morgan

Mason Poolman picked a great time to score his first career playoff goal. The 20-year-old defenceman had a goal and an assist in the Penticton Vees 4-3 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, Friday at the SOEC.


The Vees lead the best-of-seven Fred Page Cup 1-0, with Game Two set for Saturday.


Poolman scored his first goal in 82 games and finished with two points and was named the game’s first star. The East Grand Forks, MN, product scored his first goal since January 21, 2022.


Nic DeGraves also had a goal and a helper in the win. He was the third star. Josh Nadeau and Thomas Pichette scored the Vees’ other two goals.


Penticton’s power play scored on its only opportunity and the penalty kill went 2-2.


Nicholas Beneteau and Matthew Maltais scored for the Bulldogs. Beneteau had a pair of goals and was the second star.


DeGraves scored just 35 seconds into the game to put the Vees up 1-0. DeGraves scored his second of the playoffs and his first goal in seven games. Suniev found Degraves in front of the net for the one-timer.


Beneteau tied it late in the first for the Bulldogs, as he scored on his own rebound at 15:32 to even the game up 1-1.


The Vees scored three times in the second period as they lead 4-2 after 40 minutes. Josh Nadeau made it 2-1 with his power play goal at 2:10 of the middle stanza. Josh tipped in his younger brother’s pass for his 12th goal of the postseason.


Poolman put Penticton up 3-1 as he scored from the circle, picking the far corner at 6:52. His shot beat Campbell Arnold over the blocker side.


After Alberni Valley’s Matthew Maltais made it 3-2, Pichette got the Vees their two-goal lead when he buried a rebound at 16:24. Cal Arnott’s shot was kicked out, but it went right to Pichette, who roofed it over Arnold for his sixth of the playoffs. The Vees took a two-goal lead into the third.


Beneteau scored his second of the game to cut the Vees’ lead to one. Beneteau took the puck behind the Penticton net and threw it out front off of Luca Di Pasquo’s stick at 8:28.


Alberni Valley pulled their goalie inside the final minute, but they could not manufacture an equalizer.