Joey Benik is the hero of the Penticton Vees, scoring the go-ahead goal with just 50.3 seconds left in the third to lift them to a national championship.
Tied 3-3 with the Woodstock Slammers the Vees were like sharks circling their prey as they produced chances on the powerplay, but it was Benik who received a touch pass from Travis St. Denis on a give-and-go play who buried the puck to earn them the RBC Cup.
St. Denis opened the scoring on the powerplay in the first period followed by a goal from Steven Fogarty to give the Vees a 2-0 lead. A goal by Slammers Bradley Greene to end the first period and another from Nick Huard on the powerplay in the second tied the game up 2-2.
The Slammers took the lead for the first time in the game in the third period when Greene struck again, but the Vees didn’t sit back. Bryce Gervais knotted the game 3-3 midway through the third period to put the team back into it which led to the game winner off the nifty play initiated by Benik. Vees forward Fogarty was named player of the game and Greene for the Slammers. Goaltender Michael Garteig turned aside 25 shots in the Vees win.
With the win three Vees became part of an exclusive club, which they are the only three members. Troy Stetcher, Curtis Loik and St. Denis are the first to win a national title and helped Canada West win the gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge in the same season.