GAME DAY: GM #50 Vees vs. Nanaimo Clippers

Photo: Cherie Morgan


Game Time: 7:00 pm PST

Location: SOEC

RadioBounce 800 am

Webcast: Hockey TV 

Penticton Vees

GM & Head Coach: Fred Harbinson

2022-23: GP 49 45-3-0-1, Clinched 1st overall in the BCHL

Home: 23-0-0-0

Away: 22-3-0-1

GF: 270

GA: 88

Power Play: 38.7% (1)

Penalty Kill: 84.7% (2)

Top Scorer: Bradly Nadeau (42-60-102)

Last 5 Games Remaining Schedule
6-3 W vs. Merritt (Mar. 11) Mar. 18 vs. Merritt, 6:00 pm
9-2 W vs. Langley (Mar. 10) Mar. 22 @ Salmon Arm, 6:00 pm
7-2 W @ Trail (Mar. 4) Mar. 24 vs. Vernon, 7:00 pm
13-1 W @ Merritt (Mar. 3) Mar. 26 vs. Salmon Arm, 4:00 pm
4-1 W @ Prince George (Feb. 25)

Last Game: 17-year-old Derek Sparks earned his first career win in his first BCHL start, as the Vees doubled up the Merritt Centennials for their 10th-straight win. Sparks stopped 14 of 17 shots fired his way, as the product of Grand Prairie, AB, made his long awaited debut. Bradly and Josh Nadeau each scored twice in the win, and Nic DeGraves and Brett Moravec also found the back of the net. Penticton outshot Merritt 60-17.

Tonight’s Game: The long wait is finally over. 304 days later, it’s the rematch of the 2022 Fred PageCup Final. It’s the top two teams in the BCHL overall standings going head-to-head at the SOEC. These two teams last met May 18, 2022, in Nanaimo, Game Four of the league final. Penticton swept last season’s championship series, capturing their 13th Fred Page Cup in franchise history. 14 players are back for the Vees and 10 returned for the Clippers. Lots of familiarity between the two teams heading into tonight’s showdown.

Luca Di Pasquo will draw back in net for the Vees, which is likely their only lineup change. Penticton is the lone team with a perfect record at home, as they come into tonight’s game with a 22-0-0-0 record at the SOEC. Overall, they are 23-0-0-0 as the “home” team, with one of those wins coming at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.

Nanaimo Clippers

GM & Head Coach: Colin Burkas

2022-23: GP 50 35-12-3-0, 1st in the Coastal Conference

Home: 17-7-3-0

Away: 18-5-0-0

GF: 194

GA: 156

Power Play: 24.4% (3)

Penalty Kill: 76.8% (13)

Top Scorer: Kai Daniells (32-33-65)

Last 5 Games Remaining Schedule
6-5 OTL vs. Chilliwack (Mar. 12) Mar. 18 vs. Merritt, 6:00 pm
4-1 W @ Victoria (Mar. 11) Mar. 22 @ Salmon Arm, 6:00 pm
6-4 L vs. Powell River (Mar. 10) Mar. 24 vs. Vernon, 7:00 pm
4-3 W @ Cowichan Valley (Mar. 3) Mar. 26 vs. Salmon Arm, 4:00 pm
3-2 L vs. Victoria (Mar. 1)

Last Game: Nanaimo fell 6-5 in overtime at home against the Chilliwack Chiefs on Sunday afternoon. It was a back-and-forth game at Frank Crane Arena, as the two teams were tied 2-2 after the first period. Chilliwack to a 4-3 into the third period and led 5-4 midway through the final frame, before Nanaimo forced overtime on a William Gendron goal. The Chiefs’ AJ Lacroix scored a buzzer beater, winning the game in OT with one second left. Gendron and Jake Hewitt each scored twice in the loss for Nanaimo. Defenceman Brett Merner had three assists.

Outlook: Nanaimo will be without veteran forward Jérémie Payant as he was suspended for two games this week for receiving a major penalty and game misconduct for a Blow to the Head Penalty.

The Clippers have had the poll position in the Coastal Conference for the majority of the regular season. After their 12-2 start, they were 23-4-1-0 at the Christmas Break. Nanaimo has had a few bumps along the way, posting a 12-8-2-0 mark since December 30th. Nanaimo boasts five players in the top 15 in the BCHL scoring race. Kai Daniells sits fifth (65 PTS), Brody Waters (56 PTS), Ethan Mistry (53 PTS), and Jake Hewitt (51 PTS). Friday’s game features eight of the top 15 scorers in the league.

Nanaimo crease duties have been shoulder by 20-year-old Aidan Campbell. The former Erie Otters’ netminder has put together an impressive season. Campbell leads the BCHL in saves and is third in minutes played (2239). He’s second only to Di Pasquo in wins and his .915 save percentage is 8th-best in the league.