Vees clinch Interior Conference championship in Game Five win


PENTICTON, B.C.- The Penticton Vees are going back to the BCHL Fred Page Cup Final. The Vees beat the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 7-4 in Game Five, Friday at the SOEC to capture their second consecutive Interior Conference championship.

Penticton will face the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the BCHL Final.

Bradly Nadeau, celebrating his 18th birthday, had a pair of goals and three points. Aydar Suniev also scored twice, Josh Nadeau had a goal and an assist. Ben Brunette and Brett Moravec each had a pair of helpers.

After a scoreless first period, the Vees found their touch in the middle frame as they scored four times on 17 shots to go up 4-1 through 40 minutes.

Bradly Nadeau scored just six seconds into the second to kick-start the scoring. Bradly took the puck away from the Salmon Arm defenceman at the blueline before he walked in and wired his shot over the goalie’s shoulder.

Suniev doubled the Vees lead six minutes into the middle stanza as he was set up by Brunette on a two-on-one rush. Suniev made it 2-0 at 5:58.

Bradly was at it again midway through the second as he scored his second of the game on the power play at 10:56 to put Penticton up 3-0. His older brother Josh set him up for the one-timer in the circle and he blasted his 17th of the playoffs past the goalie’s blocker.

The Silverbacks’ CJ Foley got the visitors on the scoresheet on a blooper from the neutral zone to cut the Vees’ lead to 3-1. Foley’s dump in took a wicked bounce up and over Luca Di Pasquo’s shoulder.

Penticton responded well, as Suniev scored his second of the game to put the Vees up 4-1 with five minutes left in the frame. The 18-year-old buzzed around the net and fired the puck up underneath the crossbar where it got lodged. After a short video review, the goal was confirmed. Suniev’s seventh at 15:05.

The third period got whacky, as the two teams combined for six goals on just 13 combined shots.

The Vees had a quick start to the third, scoring twice in less than half a minute. First, Billy Norcross scored his first career BCHL Playoff goal at 6:20 that made it 5-1. Then, 17 seconds later, Josh Nadeau hammered his brother’s cross-ice pass into an open net. His 11th made it 6-1 at 6:37.

Penticton looked to be in cruise control before Salmon Arm mustered a three-goal rally to cut the Vees lead to two. Maddux Martin and Isaac Lambert combined to score three goals in five minutes to make it 6-4. Martin scored back-to-back goals, before Lambert got the ‘Backs within two.

Frank Djurasevic snuffed out any more comeback thoughts with his empty-net goal inside the final two minutes.

This is the Vees 18th Interior Conference championship in franchise history and seventh under Fred Harbinson.

With this series win, Harbinson is now the All-Time BCHL Playoff series wins leader at 30, surpassing former Chilliwack Chiefs Head Coach Harvey Smyl. He also now moves into a tie with Kent Lewis for most BCHL Fred Page Cup Final appearances at seven.


Final Score: 7-4, Vees

Shots: 33-21, Vees

Vees Scoring: B. Nadeau (2), Suniev (2), Norcross, J. Nadeau, Djurasevic

Vees PP: 1/2

Vees PK: 3/3

Three Stars:

  1. Bradly Nadeau
  2. Maddux Martin (SA)
  3. Aydar Suniev

Attendance: 3,254

Next Game: Fred Page Cup Final vs. Alberni Valley Bulldogs