Duncan Campbell’s goal at 5:25 of the second period stood up as the winner for the Penticton Vees as they claimed both a 3-1 home win in Game 7 over the Vernon Vipers and a spot in the Fred Page Cup BCHL Finals.
Gabe Bast continued his fine postseason, scoring his fifth goal to put the Vees up 1-0 after the first period. He was in on the setup of Campbell’s winner in the second, as was captain Nic Jones, to make it 2-0 which was all the support goalie Mat Robson needed on the night.
Taylor Sanheim brought the big Game 7 crowd at the SOEC to its feet later in the second when he made an inside-out move on a Vernon defender before going high to the glove side on Darion Hanson. The highlight-reel effort was insurance for the Vees.
Vernon got on the board in the third when Riley Brandt converted a Jesse Lansdell feed that came as the result of a turnover right in front of the Vees’ crease.
Vernon pulled Hanson for an extra attacker when there was still 2:35 to go and despite maintaining possession in the Vees end for much of the final two minutes, they were not able to get any closer.
Robson made 28 saves on the night and was named the game’s 3rd Star.
Game 1 of the Fred Page Cup BCHL Finals will be Friday, April 14 with the Chilliwack Chiefs providing the opposition and the venue for Games 1 and 2. Since the Chiefs finished the regular season with more points than Penticton, they will have home-ice advantage in the Finals.