As the BC Hockey League playoffs wind down, we now have two finalists who will compete for the Fred Page Cup for the first time since 2019. Throughout the playoffs, the two finalists have dominated their respective conferences on their way to the finals.
Interior Conference champion Penticton Vees
The Penticton Vees were the top team in the regular season for the entire BCHL and this year is their fifth appearance in the Fred Page Cup final since 2012. The Vees have won four BCHL playoff titles since being renamed from the Panthers in 2005.
(Interior 1) Penticton Vees vs. (Interior 8) Trail Smoke Eaters
|Mar. 31||Trail Smoke Eaters||5-3||Penticton Vees||South Okanagan Events Centre|
|Apr. 1||Trail Smoke Eaters||1-5||Penticton Vees||South Okanagan Events Centre|
|Apr. 4||Penticton Vees||2-1||Trail Smoke Eaters||Cominco Arena|
|Apr. 5||Penticton Vees||2-1||Trail Smoke Eaters||Cominco Arena|
|Apr. 7||Trail Smoke Eaters||1-5||Penticton Vees||South Okanagan Events Centre|
(Interior 1) Penticton Vees vs. (Interior 4) Prince George Spruce Kings
|Apr. 14||Prince George Spruce Kings||1-2||Penticton Vees||South Okanagan Events Centre|
|Apr. 16||Prince George Spruce Kings||2-6||Penticton Vees||South Okanagan Events Centre|
|Apr. 18||Penticton Vees||5-3||Prince George Spruce Kings||Rolling Mix Concrete Arena|
|Apr. 19||Penticton Vees||3-2||Prince George Spruce Kings||Rolling Mix Concrete Arena|
(Interior 1) Penticton Vees vs. (Interior 3) West Kelowna Warriors
|Apr. 29||West Kelowna Warriors||1-2||Penticton Vees||South Okanagan Events Centre|
|Apr. 30||West Kelowna Warriors||2-6||Penticton Vees||South Okanagan Events Centre|
|May 2||Penticton Vees||5-3||West Kelowna Warriors||Rolling Mix Concrete Arena|
|May 4||Penticton Vees||3-2||West Kelowna Warriors||Rolling Mix Concrete Arena|
Vees Playoff Stat Leaders
Coastal Conference champion Nanaimo Clippers
The Nanaimo Clippers had a season of resurgence, finishing third in the Coastal Conference and this year is their fifth appearance in the Fred Page Cup finals since 2004. The Clippers have won two Fred Page Cups and are riding a 12-game winning streak so far during these playoffs.
(Coastal 3) Nanaimo Clippers vs. (Coastal 6) Surrey Eagles
|Apr. 1||Surrey Eagles||2-3||Nanaimo Clippers||Frank Crane Arena|
|Apr. 2||Surrey Eagles||4-7||Nanaimo Clippers||Frank Crane Arena|
|Apr. 4||Nanaimo Clippers||3-1||Surrey Eagles||South Surrey Arena|
|Apr. 5||Nanaimo Clippers||6-2||Surrey Eagles||South Surrey Arena|
(Coastal 2) Chilliwack Chiefs vs. (Coastal 3) Nanaimo Clippers
|Apr. 15||Nanaimo Clippers||2-1||Chilliwack Chiefs||Chilliwack Coliseum|
|Apr. 16||Nanaimo Clippers||6-3||Chilliwack Chiefs||Chilliwack Coliseum|
|Apr. 18||Chilliwack Chiefs||1-2 (OT)||Nanaimo Clippers||Frank Crane Arena|
|Apr. 19||Chilliwack Chiefs||0-1||Nanaimo Clippers||Frank Crane Arena|
(Coastal 3) Nanaimo Clippers vs. (Coastal 4) Langley Rivermen
|Apr. 29||Langley Rivermen||0-4||Nanaimo Clippers||Frank Crane Arena|
|Apr. 30||Langley Rivermen||0-3||Nanaimo Clippers||Frank Crane Arena|
|May 3||Nanaimo Clippers||5-4 (OT)||Langley Rivermen||George Preston Arena|
|May 4||Nanaimo Clippers||6-1||Langley Rivermen||George Preston Arena|
Clippers Playoff Stat Leaders
The Nanaimo Clippers have done it all during this year’s playoffs. Everything from comebacks and overtime wins to blowouts and shutouts. The final series will be the Clippers’ toughest test to date.
Penticton had a small scare to start the playoffs by losing game one to Trail, but the Vees have dominated their opponents ever since, winning a dozen straight games.
Goaltender Cooper Black must have another outstanding series for the Clippers to win their sixth Fred Page Cup. The Vees will have to contend with the travel that hindered them in 2019 when they lost in the first round to Cowichan Valley. No doubt the Penticton organization remembers that experience well.
This is the seventh match-up for the Fred Page Cup between Nanaimo and Penticton. The Clippers are three-time winners – in 1976, 1977 and 1978. The Vees franchise was victorious in 1980, 2008 and 2015.
If Nanaimo keeps getting outstanding goaltending and playing the way it has throughout the playoffs, they will get past the Vees. Penticton will have to take advantage of its deadly power play and figure out how to get Black off his game if the Vees want to win their 13th BCHL championship.
My prediction: Nanaimo in six games.