Season-saving stop leads to Vees win

Penticton Vees goalie Michael Garteig make crucial save that helps push team into RBC Cup semifinal round

Penticton Vees forward Bryce Gervais fires a shot to the stickside of Portage Terriers goalie Shea Cooper. Gervais didn’t score on the play

Penticton Vees forward Bryce Gervais fires a shot to the stickside of Portage Terriers goalie Shea Cooper. Gervais didn’t score on the play

Penticton Vees goalie Michael Garteig was three years old when Kirk McLean made a season-saving stop against the Calgary Flames in 1994.

The Vees goalie knows about the big pad stack save on the goal line the Vancouver Canucks goalie made. Now he has his own stop he can talk about too.

Midway through the second period, with his team trailing the Portage Terriers during the RBC Cup Wednesday, Garteig made what Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson described as the “save of the season.”

“We’re down 1-0 and minute or so later they had a chance to make it 2-0,” said Harbinson. “He made a desperation save. He dove back and got his paddle on it and froze it. They make it 2-0, in these tight games, that might have been a tough one for us to come back on.”

Saves like that are why the Vees acquired the former Powell River King from the Victoria Grizzlies. Garteig said it was “one of my biggest saves in my career, I guess.”

The Vees had to wait until the third period to get the equalizer, scored by Curtis Loik two minutes in. The North Vancouver resident pounced on a loose puck and shovelled it past Terriers’ goalie Shea Cooper. Vees captain Logan Johnston potted the winner in similar fashion. Johnston stuffed a loose puck into the open side, then Vees defenceman Mike Reilly sealed the game on the power play after taking a feed from Travis St. Denis, who was named the Vees’ Player of the Game, and wired a shot past Cooper.

“He competed real hard,” said Harbinson of St. Denis, who has three assists in the tournament. “Biggest thing with Travis is trying to compete to the level where you’re not taking penalties. I thought the last few minutes of the third, he was unbelievable protecting the puck. He’s an emotional leader. He’s a small guy that plays like he’s three feet bigger than he is (five-foot-eight).”

Harbinson, selected as the FortisBC Fan Favourite Coach in a poll by the BCHL, asked his players to win one period. He could see the frustration in his players, who fired 18 shots on Cooper without reward.

“It’s been tough to score over the course of the last few games,” said Harbinson. “We have won so many periods this year. If we just win the period by a goal then we go into overtime. It’s really not that big of a mountain to climb. I think we felt pretty good that if we kept pressing we’d find a way to score a goal.”

Harbinson saw the players’ energy level shoot up on the bench after the first goal.

“They played hard,” said Harbinson of Portage, who he said is an older team that is more mature in certain areas. “With the exception of a 10-minute spell in the second, I thought we carried the play. They are a heck of a team.”

Should the Vees win their semifinal match Saturday against the Soo Thunderbirds, the South Okanagan Events Centre will be open to the public to watch the RBC Cup final for free. This game is tentatively scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on May 13.  Doors will open half an hour prior to puck drop.

Ice chips: Check for Connor Reilly’s blog. St. Denis leads the team with three points in as many games. Joey Benik and Wade Murphy are tied for the team lead with two goals.


Just Posted

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton reviewing ideas on how to make the city’s north gateway more vibrant

The city has plans to redevelop the area into a welcoming and attractive entrance

A portion of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail near Naramata will be closed temporarily for upgrade work, including paving. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Upgrades plannned for trail near Naramata

Surface improvement work will mean temporary trail closure

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Skaha Bluffs climbing spots. (Monique Tamminga)
New parking lot and picnic area coming to Penticton’s Skaha Bluffs

The city will turn the access point at Crow Place into a parking and picnic area

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Phil McLachlan/(Black Press Media
Man shot at Kamloops shopping centre

The man is believed to be in stable condition

The location of the vehicle incident near Chase that currently has Highway 1 closed in both directions, according to DriveBC. (Black Press staff)
Hwy 1 closed in both directions east of Chase due to vehicle incident

Detour is in effect and drivers are encouraged to reroute to Highway 97 or Highway 97B

Scooters lined up for an educational event in Stuart Park on Wednesday, June 16. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Free e-scooter safety training in Kelowna

Shared e-scooter operators collaborate to educate riders

Most Read