Mark Sinclair made 36 saves and Jake Smith scored the game-winner on the man advantage in the second period as the Chilliwack Chiefs scored a 4-2 home win over the Penticton Vees in Game 1 of the Fred Page Cup BCHL Finals.
Penticton blueliner Griffin Mendel opened the scoring for the visitors just 1:30 into the game, his second of the postseason which matches his goal total from the regular season. But the lead lasted only 2:23 as Chilliwack’s Kohen Olischefski scored to put the Chiefs back on even terms.
Just before the midway point of the opening frame, Anthony Vincent put the Chiefs ahead with his fifth goal of the playoffs. Chilliwack held the one-goal lead until late in the second when they added on with Smith’s power-play tally which proved to be the decisive marker.
Vees captain Nic Jones got one back for the visitors in the third but they could not find the equalizer. Jordan Kawaguchi, who was in on both Vincent and Smith’s goals, got one of his own late in the game making it a three-point night for him and a two-goal Chiefs lead which is how it ended.
Sinclair was named the game’s 1st Star for his work in the Chiefs crease. Game 2 goes Saturday at 7pm in Chilliwack.