Submitted by Fraser Rodgers
HUMBOLDT, SK- The Penticton Vees have booked their spot in the RBC Cup semifinals after a 3-1 win over the Portage Terriers on Wednesday night.
The Vees (2-2) rallied for three goals in the third period after falling behind the Terries 1-0. Penticton will have to wait until Thursday night to find out which team they play in one of two semifinals.
In their previous three round-robin games, the Vees surrendered the opening goal, and Wednesday was no different. Tanner Waldvogel broke a scoreless tie at 8:38 of the second on the power play when he put a shot through Michael Garteig after scramble at the side of the net.
The Terriers outshot the Vees in the second 9-8 after the Vees edged the Terriers 10-7 in the opening period. Both Garteig and Terriers goaltender Shea Cooper were outstanding in the middle frame, making a handful of eye-popping saves. Garteig highlighted the second with a desperation stick-save off of Brendan Harms to keep the game within one goal.
The Vees hit their stride in the third period, exploding for three goals. Curtis Loik evened the game off a jam play at the side of the Terriers goal. Loik found a loose puck at the post and shoveled it underneath Cooper’s pad at 1:53. Logan Johnston put the Vees ahead for the first time just before the nine-minute mark. Johnston scored in a similar fashion to Loik, corralling a loose puck after a failed pass, before stuffing it in the open side. Mike Reilly sealed the win with his first goal of the tournament on a Vees power-play. Reilly wired a shot from the slot over the glove of Cooper.
Garteig finished with 25 saves, including 10 in the third period for his second straight win in goal. Shea Cooper took the loss for the Terriers in his first start of the RBC Cup, making 24 saves.
The Vees have to await the results of the final round-robin games Thursday to find out their opponent for Saturday. The Vees, as of Wednesday night, sit alone in second place with two wins and four points.
The Valley First charitable donation total is now at $7,995, while the Tim Horton’s charitable win donation is at $360.