HEADER

Game Recap: Vees fall to Eagles in Six games, lose Fred Page Cup Final

Photo: Cherie Morgan

PENTICTON, B.C. – The Penticton Vees season came to an end on Sunday evening, losing 3-1 to the Surrey Eagles in Game Six of the Fred Page Cup Final at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

With the win, the Eagles captured their fifth Fred Page Cup title and first since 2013. Surrey advances to faces the Brooks Bandits in the Rocky Mountain Challenge, which begins in Alberta on May 31st.

“Congratulations to Surrey on great playoff run and season. From top to bottom, they did a phenomenal job. Cam Keith and his staff put a great team together,” began Vees’ Director of Hockey Operations Matt Miller post-game. “We did everything right but just couldn’t finish, which was the storyline of our playoffs. Proud of how our group competed right to the end. We came so far from September with just two returning players.”

Penticton’s Connor MacPherson scored the Vees’ only goal late in the third period to spoil the Eagles’ Ajeet Gundarah’s shutout bid.

Gundarah closed out the series by stopping 66 of the last 67 shots he faced going back to Game Five. Gundarah was named the game’s first star.

The Vees got out to a great start, but found themselves trailing 1-0 after 20 minutes, despite outshooting the Eagles 14-3 in the first period.

Surrey’s Caden Cranston opened the scoring late in the opening frame just seconds after an Eagles’ power play expired. Cranston scored his first goal of the series at 17:37, after he put home a cross-ice pass from Sid McNeil.

The Eagles doubled their lead early in the second and on a fortunate bounce. Sam Elliot was stopped on an odd-man rush, but Liam Tanner followed up and banked the puck off the Vees’ Anselmo Rego from below the goal line at 3:19. The Eagles scored twice on their first five shots of the game.

Penticton surrendered just 10 shots through two periods but found themselves down 2-0 after 40 minutes.

Jagjeevan Phangura padded the Eagles’ lead early in the third period, as he made it 3-0 at 4:45. Phangura scored his first of the series after he took a drop pass from the slot and beat Vees’ goaltender Will Ingemann on the stick side.

MacPherson’s goal at 17:47 made it 3-1 late, but that’s as close as the Vees got on Sunday.

The Vees season ends after eight months, and nine days, and 76 games combined over the regular season and playoffs. Penticton finished two wins shy of their third consecutive Fred Page Cup title, despite returning just two players from the previous season.

GAME STATS

Shots: Eagles- 16 Vees- 36

Vees Scoring: C. MacPherson (6)

Vees Goaltending: Will Ingemann 55:29 13/16 (L)

Power-Plays:

Vees: 0/1

Eagles: 0/1

Three Stars:

1) Ajeet Gundarah (35 SVS)

2) Thomas Pichette

3) Caden Cranston (1G)

Attendance: 3,254

The Vees organization salutes their fans, sponsors, and the community for all their support during the 2023-24 season.