In the final game of round robin at the 2017 Western Canada Cup in Penticton, British Columbia, the (1-2) Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Portage Terriers took on the hosts, the (1-1-1) Penticton Vees in junior ‘A’ hockey action.
Penticton’s Taylor Ward fired the first goal of the game at 11:14 of the first with Massimo Rizzo and Taylor Sanheim adding the assists on Ward’s goal to give the Vees a 1 – 0 lead. Terrier Riley Thiessen sends a pass to Portage’s Chase Brakel to even the game 1 – 1 at 12:20 of the period. Jeremey Leipsic and Ty Barnstable set up the Terriers second of the game with 7:04 remaining in the opening period on Portage’s MacKenize Dwyers go – ahead goal. 1:09 into the middle stanza, Grant Cruikshank scores the tying goal for Penticton with a Vees unassisted goal. With the 2017 Western Canada Cup hosts on a power play at 8:50 of the period, Cruickshank found the back of Portage netminder Kurtis Champman’s net with Rizzo and Nicholas Jones notching the helpers on Cruikshank’s power play marker.
Chase Brakel fires the tying goal behind Vee goaltender Mathew Robson’s net at 11:58 of the second with Penticton’s Leipsic and James McIsaac adding the contributors to even the game 3 – 3. Sanheim gives the Vees a one goal lead at 12:29 of the period with Jared Nash and Griffin Mendel adding the helpers. With 55 seconds left in the game, Duncan Campbell sinks the insurance goal for Penticton in a Portage empty net to give the hosts a 5 – 3 win. Cruikshank and Jones drew the assists on Campbell’s goal at the 19:55 mark of the third.
The Vees will now meet the SJHL Battlefords North Stars in the first semi – final on May 6th in a 2:00 p.m (PST) afternoon matinee while the BCHL Chilliwack Chiefs will face the AJHL Brooks Bandits in a 7:00 p.m (PST) match – up in the other semi – final in Penticton on Saturday.