A lucky crash helped the Penticton Vees take a 2-0 series lead against the Powell River Kings in the BCHL championship final.
After taking a D.J. Jones pass, Vees forward Bryce Gervais was hauled down on his way to Kings goalie Sean Maguire. As Gervais was forced to the ice, he was also directed into Maguire who was taken out. The puck went to Steven Fogarty, who fired a bad angled shot into the net to give the Vees a 2-1 lead. The goal also proved to be the winner.
Fogarty said because Gervais was pushed into the goalie, the play wasn’t whistled for goalie interference. As the play developed the New York Rangers draft pick said he didn’t feel pressure on the play.
“It was a tough angle but I got it in,” said Fogarty.
After a shaky start, Fogarty said the Vees got better in the second, which then set up for a stronger third period.
Matt Scarth opened the scoring at 7:21 of the first period. The Vees didn’t equal the score until the second when Joey Benik beat Maguire on his glove side. As Benik cut into the Kings zone, he said he used a player as a screen then fired a wrist shot on goal, which deflected off Maguire’s glove.
Vees goalie Chad Katunar had another strong game making 29 saves and earning first star honours.
Kings coach Kent Lewis said his team hasn’t played “good enough” following two games.
“Their goalie played better than ours,” said Lewis. “We had some brain cramps that gave them goals.”
Lewis felt his team carried most of the play and killed crucial penalties as the Vees went 0-for-5 on the man advantage.
“We just have to be more opportunistic,” said Lewis, adding that he will alter some things for Game 3 in Powell River. “Two goals in two games is not enough.”
During the third period, the Vees were forced to shut down the KIngs offensively with only five defenceman. Troy Stecher got hurt 27 seconds in as he was hit on his knee and needed help off the ice. Stecher didn’t return.
Games 3 and 4 now shift to Powell River. For more Vees coverage, check the Western News online and Wednesdays issue.