A massive celebration broke out after the Penticton Bantam Murray GM Vees won the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association Tier 2 playoffs.
“We just threw our gloves up and it was just awesome,” said Vees captain Raphael Bassot after the close 2-1, game three win over the West Kelowna Warriors.
Before the on-ice celebrations exploded, the Vees had to deal with tremendous closing pressure by the Warriors.
“The last 1:30 there, when they called two quick timeouts, it was probably the longest 1:30 I ever had,” said Bassot. “They pulled the goalie so they had the extra guy in the zone.
“They did a really good job in keeping the puck in the zone. We just did our best and I think our goalie held us in there a lot today.”
Vees coch Rob McLaughlin credited the Warriors for pushing them to the limit.
“They improved greatly from the start (of the season) to the end,” said McLaughlin. “It was good to see us get pushed as hard as we did. We need that going into Provincials.”
Vees goalie Alyck Coombes had a busy game, finishing with 33 saves. Offensively, Manny Bahniwal scored the Vees’ first goal and Josh Maser buried the winner with 2:22 remaining in the first period.
The Vees head to Mission for the provincial championship March 16-21.
The Vees will face some of the same teams they played in the New Year Kamloops KIBIHIT tournament, which they won at the beginning of January.
Penticton Blades down Kelowna to win South/Central Okanagan Super League
The Penticton Blades bantam rec hockey team won the South and Central Okanagan Super League championship. Brayden Jones scored with 1.4 seconds left in the final game to push the Blades 4-3 over Kelowna. The Blades, who finished the season with a 28-4-4 record, will now play for the OMAHA Championship in Clearwater this weekend. The Blades are 8-0 in the playoffs.