PHOTO: Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
The Penticton Vees will play for the Fred Page Cup as they host the Nanaimo Clippers in Game #1 of their best-of-seven BC Hockey League Final series on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE vs. NANAIMO
Friday, November 5th @ Frank Crane Arena (7-3 Vees) (BOXSCORE)
FOURTH ROUND SCHEDULE vs. NANAIMO
Game #1: Friday, May 13th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)
Game #2: Saturday, May 14th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)
Game #3: Tuesday, May 17th @ Frank Crane Arena (7:00 PM)
Game #4: Wednesday, May 18th @ Frank Crane Arena (7:00 PM)
*Game #5: Friday, May 20th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)
*Game #6: Sunday, May 22nd @ Frank Crane Arena (7:00 PM)
*Game #7: Tuesday, May 24th @ South Okanagan Events Centre (7:00 PM)
*- If Necessary
The Vees come into the final round of the playoffs having won each of their last 12 games, including a four-game sweep of the West Kelowna Warriors in the Interior Conference Final. Penticton earned victories by 8-1, 6-2, 5-2 and 6-1 scores and have not lost a game since their opening game of the playoffs.
Vees Regular Season Leading Scorers:
Luc Wilson (29-46-75)
Josh Nadeau (40-32-72)
Bradly Nadeau (20-26-46)
Brett Moravec (22-19-41)
Casey McDonald (20-17-37)
Vees Playoff Leading Scorers:
Josh Nadeau (10-9-19)
Luc Wilson (6-13-19)
Bradly Nadeau (7-11-18)
Adam Eisele (5-12-18)
Jackson Nieuwendyk (7-5-12)
A matchup that has had plenty of chapters of their storied histories sees the Vees pinned against the Clippers in the league final, the seventh series against one another in their history with each team having won three times. Penticton has come away victorious in 1980, 2008 and 2015 while Nanaimo has claimed the championship in 1976, 1977 and 1978. The Vees are making their first appearance in the league final since 2017 and their 22nd overall.
Scoring in every game of the series against West Kelowna, Vees forward Josh Nadeau played a large part of Penticton’s sweep of the Warriors. The University of Maine commit sits 2nd in league scoring and is one of two players in the league final to have double-digit goals, sitting with 10 goals and 19 points in 13 games played. Josh comes into the BCHL Final riding a 10-game point streak, posting 10 goals and 8 assists for 18 points in that span and has scored in 9 of his last 10 contests.
Another key contribution to the Vees Interior Conference crown was the power play getting cooking, scoring 8 times in the series to take advantage of an undisciplined Warriors team. Penticton posted a 32% power play in the series, going 8-for-25 including 8-for-21 in the last three games of the series with a five-goal output on the man advantage in Game #2.
The Nanaimo Clippers enter the Fred Page Cup Final also riding a 12-game win streak and have not lost once in the playoffs, completing sweeps in the Coastal Conference Quarter Finals against the Surrey Eagles, the Chilliwack Chiefs in the Coastal Conference Semi Finals and in the Coastal Conference Final against the Langley Rivermen.
Clippers Regular Season Leaders:
Sean Donaldson (36-34-70)
Max Itagaki (27-34-61)
Tristan Fraser (20-37-57)
Kai Daniells (22-20-42)
Jeremie Payant (14-21-35)
Clippers Playoff Leaders:
Sean Donaldson (12-7-19)
Brody Waters (9-5-14)
Keighan Gerrie (6-6-12)
Tristan Fraser (1-10-11)
Kai Daniells (6-4-10)
The Clippers have been on quite the tear throughout the Coastal Conference in the playoffs, racking up 12 wins in a row and have yet to lose a game in the postseason. A big key to their success throughout the playoff run has been team defense as Nanaimo has allowed a league-low 19 goals against in 12 playoff games, averaging just 1.58 goals against per game. The Clippers goal differential of +29 is the second best in the league in the playoffs, trailing the Vees +37 goal differential.
Following a 70-point regular season, Clippers forward Sean Donaldson has had a fantastic 20-year-old campaign as he finished 7th in league scoring. The Cornell University commit was 4th in the BCHL with 36 goals and has continued that into the playoffs, posting 12 markers and 19 points to be amongst the league leaders in points in the post season. The Vancouver, BC native has plenty of BCHL experience, including a Fred Page Cup championship with the Prince George Spruce Kings back in 2019.
The team defense has been extremely solid for Nanaimo but it has been goaltender Cooper Black that is stealing the spotlight for the Clippers with his performance in between the pipes. A Dartmouth College commit, the 6’8” netminder is tied with Vees goaltender Kaeden Lane with a 1.54 goals against average and leads the BCHL with a .953 save percentage to go along with a league leading three shutouts in the postseason. The Alpena, Michigan native had a strong regular season as well for Nanaimo, posting a 24-7 record to go along with a 2.62 GAA and a .924 SV% and two shutouts. Black has only allowed three or more goals just three separate times in the playoffs while surrendering one or fewer in seven games.
The Vees and Clippers meet in Game #1 of the BCHL Final on Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with tickets available for purchase at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC as well as online at valleyfirsttix.com.