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On the last day of the BCHL regular season, the Penticton Vees (35-16-2-4) are playing for an Interior Division title, as they host Salmon Arm Silverbacks (25-24-1-7) at the SOEC.
It’s the Vees final game of the 2013-2014 season, as they gear up for the 2014 Fred Page Cup playoffs, which get going on Tuesday. Also, following tonight’s game the Vees are handing out their team awards on the ice, honouring individual success throughout the regular season.
The Vees took the first half of the home-and-home last night, scoring three unanswered goals in a 3-1 victory over the Silverbacks. Ben Dalpe (power-play), Jack Ramsey and Brad McClure (empty-net) found the scoresheet and Olivier Mantha stopped 19 of 20 shots for his 17th win. The Vees actually trailed early, as Evan Anderson opened the scoring for the home team just six-minutes into the first period. Friday was the Vees first win in four tries at the Shaw Centre this season; the ‘Backs outscored them 13-5 in the previous three meetings in Salmon Arm.
Tonight the Vees look for their 19th home win in their 27th game at the SOEC; one win came at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack. The Vees have split their last four home games but are coming off a 4-2 win over Trail in their last game at the SOEC.
Hunter Miska gets the start in goal tonight and is seeking his 19th win in his 34th game. Miska comes into tonight’s contest with an 18-5-2-4 record, sporting a 2.27 goals-against average, while maintaining a .914 save-percentage; Miska is 11-3-0-3 at home this year.
Cam Amantea will get back into the line-up, subbing out Josh Blanchard and Travis Blanleil looks to be suiting up tonight, the first game for him since February 15th; Blanleil had missed the last four games with a lower-body injury.
With a victory tonight, the Vees could finish the season with three consecutive wins over ‘Back, after dropping the first five games of this eight-game season series.
The Silverbacks, riddled with injuries, have dropped nine straight and are playing their final game of the season; they were eliminated from playoff contention on Wednesday.
Landon Smith is right in the middle of a close race for the Brett Hull Trophy, the BCHL’s top scorer award. Coming into tonight, Smith has 81 points, which is just ahead of Victoria’s Myles Fitzgerald (80) and Brad McClure (79) for top spot in the BCHL. If Smith were to hang on and win the scoring title, he would be the first player in nine years to finish first in league scoring and not have his team make the playoffs.
Tonight is the last junior game for 10 Silverbacks, as they graduate Alex Gillies, Evan Anderson, Landon Smith, Adam Clark, Jeff & Brendan Kennedy, Brett Fagerheim, Mitch Ferguson, Max Becker and Captain Blake Box.
Scoring vs. SA:
Alferd 2-3-5 Benoit 1-1-2 Coatta 0-1-1
DePourcq 4-0-4 Dalpe 1-1-2 Cooper 0-1-1
McClure 2-1-3 Beauvais 0-2-2 Coulombe 0-1-1
Blanleil 1-2-3 Rygus 0-2-2 Pierog 0-1-1
Ramsey 1-2-3 Amantea 1-0-1 Serratore 0-1-1
McColgan 0-3-3 Blanchard 1-0-1
McClure: 4 game point streak (4-4-8)
Pierog: 4 game point streak (3-2-5)
Last 5 Games:
Record: 3-2-0-0 (17 GF, 13 GA)
PP: 6/19 (31.58%)
PK: 14/18 (77.78%)
Since Trade Deadline: 10-7-0-1
Vees Post-Christmas Record: 11-7-1-1 (13-8-0-2 post Christmas break last season)
PP: Goals in last 4 games (6/15)
Goals: McClure (40) (2nd in BCHL)
Assists: Beauvais (44) (4th in BCHL)
Points: McClure (79) (3rd in BCHL)
PIMs: Sexton (62) (T-40th in BCHL)
PPG: McClure (13) (T-1st in BCHL)
PPA: Beauvais (24) (1st in BCHL)
SHG: Pierog (3) (T-5th in BCHL)
Scoring vs. PEN:
Smith 6-2-8 Box 1-2-3 Brown-Maloski 0-2-2 Thibault 1-0-1
Anderson 3-2-5 Josephs 0-3-3 Farny 0-2-2
Becker 2-2-4 Plese 2-0-2 Jewell 0-2-2
Gillies 2-2-4 Berezan 1-1-2 B. Kennedy 0-2-2
Ferguson 2-2-4 Fagerheim 1-1-2 McCaskill 0-2-2
Marsh 2-1-3 J. Kennedy 1-1-2 Roberts 0-2-2
Last 5 Games:
Record: 0-3-0-2 (8 GF, 22 GA)
PP: 2/17 (11.76%)
PK: 14/19 (73.68%)
‘Backs Post-Christmas Record: 6-12-0-2 (11-9-1-1 after Christmas last season)
Goals: Smith (43) (1st in BCHL)
Assists: Smith (38) (T-11th in BCHL)
Points: Smith (81) (1st in BCHL)
PIMs: Box (104) (3rd in BCHL)
PPG: Smith (11) (T-3rd in BCHL)
PPA: Ferguson (13) (T-11th in BCHL)
SHG: Anderson/Gillies/Jewell/J. Kennedy/Maruya/Smith (1) (T-21st in BCHL)