The Penticton Vees wrap up their RBC Cup round-robin schedule this afternoon when they face the Central Region Representatives the Soo Thunderbirds from the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL). The Vees sit second in the RBC Cup standings heading into Day 6, with a 2-0-1-0 record and still have a shot a nabbing first place with a win today and some help in the Melfort-Portage game tonight. The Soo Thunderbirds have been eliminated from Semi-Final action after dropping their first three games and will be playing for pride this afternoon.
The Vees still have a shot at clinching first place but will need a regulation win this afternoon, possibly by a couple of goals too, and will need the Melfort Mustangs to force overtime tonight against the Portage Terriers. A Portage regulation win against Melfort would clinch them first place overall.
Just one line-up changes as Cam Amantea will come out for rest and Mitch Newsome will drawk back in on a line with Cody DePourcq and Lewis Zerter-Gossage.
Vees Projected Line-Up
11 Patrick Newell 71 Tyson Jost 21 Demico Hannoun
17 Steen Cooper 48 Connor Chartier 67 Dakota Conroy
12 Matt Serratore 91 Riley Alferd 15 Jack Ramsey
28 Mitch Newsome 19 Cody DePourcq 77 Lewis Zerter-Gossage
53 Patrick Sexton 2 Dante Fabbro
10 Miles Gendron 4 Gabe Bast
3 Mike Lee 27 Jarod Hilderman
35 Hunter Miska
1 Brendan Barry
CENTRAL REGION – SOO THUNDERBIRDS
Two years after becoming the first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League team to reach the RBC Cup in a decade, the Soo Thunderbirds are back for another shot at Canada’s National Junior A Championship.
The Soo was its usual successful self in the regular season, finishing atop the NOJHL standings for the fourth time in five years, and it ran away with from the competition in the playoffs, winning 12 of 14 games and outscoring its opponents 86-21. At the Dudley Hewitt Cup, the Thunderbirds clinched first place in the round robin – and a bye to the final – with two wins and a shootout loss, and a 3-2 win over host Fort Frances gave them a spot at the RBC Cup.
The Thunderbirds have only one player remaining from their 2012 RBC Cup team – forward Joey Miller – but that doesn’t mean they’re short on national championship experience; nine Thunderbirds were members of the Sault Ste. Marie North Stars when that team hosted the 2013 TELUS Cup.
Thunderbirds Projected Line-up:
13 Boris Katchouk 23 Brett Jeffries 10 Matt Pinder
18 Matthew Mitchell 15 Anthony Miller 26 Eric Hillock
14 Jaren Bellini 28 Matt Caruso 17 Nicolas Tassone
19 Nathan Hebert 12 Joey Miller 25 Connor Dea
20 Andrew Barbeau 27 Owen Headrick
21 Caleb Boman 24 David Radke
8 Brandon Grandinetti 2 Matt Busby
30 Mario Culina
35 Brian Kment