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Chilliwack edges Penticton Vees to force Game Seven in BCHL playoffs

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Cherie Morgan Photography
April 25, 2017 - 10:07 AM

PENTICTON - The Penticton Vees were 20 minutes away from winning the Fred Page Cup Monday, April 24, before the Chilliwack Chiefs mounted a stunning third period comeback, winning 3-2 in overtime in Game Six at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

On a power-play, Chilliwack’s Will Calverley scored the game-winner nine minutes into OT, as the Chiefs came back from an 2-0 third period deficit, to force a winner-take-all Game Seven in Chilliwack Tuesday.

Grant Cruikshank and Owen Sillinger scored in the first and second period to stake the Vees out to a 2-0 lead, but the Chiefs got goals from Davis Bunz and Kohen Olischefski early and late in the third, to force the extra period.

Matt Robson was tagged with the loss, kicking out 27 of 30 shot. Chilliwack’s Mark Sinclair stopped 25 of 27 Vees’ shots in a winning effort.

It was the start the Vees wanted, as Cruikshank opened the scoring midway through the first period, getting over 3,800 fans on their feet. Nicholas Jones chipped the puck out front to Cruikshank, who went to his backhand beating Sinclair over the glove at 11:46; Cruikshank scoring his sixth.

Penticton added to their lead in late in second after a terrific play between Cassidy Bowes and Owen Sillinger. Bowes darted down ice with Sillinger on two-on-one and the youngster fired a perfectly timed pass across to Sillinger, who smacked the puck past Sinclair at 17:16 to put the Vees up 2-0. Not only a huge goal for the home team but big for Sillinger, who scored his first in 15-games.

The Vees missed an opportunity to go up 3-0 early in the third on power-play that carried over from the middle stanza, and it proved to be costly as Chilliwack clawed back.

Shortly after killing-off the Vees’ man-advantage expired, Chilliwack’s Davis Bunz got out of the box and got the Chiefs on the scoresheet. Bunz came down from the point and fired a past out of the corner over Robson’s glove two and half minutes in, cutting the Vees’ lead in half.

The Chiefs persisted and got the equalizer late, tying the game up at two with just five and half minutes left. It was the BCHL scoring leader, Jordan Kawaguchi, dishing the puck out front to a streaking Kohen Olischefski, who scored from the nearly identical spot that Bunz did earlier in the period; the 2-2 goal coming with five and half minutes left.

Despite seeing their two-goal lead slip away in regulation, the Vees had a couple of good looks early in overtime to end it. First, after forcing a turnover at the blue-line, Cruikshank curled down the left-wing but fired high and wide from the circle. Then Cruikshank played play-maker, patiently waiting down-low before throwing a backdoor pass out to Duncan Campbell, but he was stopped by a lunging Sinclair.

Chilliwack completed the comeback on the power-play midway through the overtime period. The Chiefs worked the puck around, before it was fired back across to Carver Watson in the circle, who had his shot tipped just enough by Will Calverley, to sneak Robson’s pads at 9:19.

It’s a quick turnaround for Game Seven, as it’s today, April 25th, back at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack; puck drop 7 p.m.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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