Penticton Vees win RBC Cup

Okanagan team captures national junior hockey title

The Penticton Vees are champions of Canadian Junior A hockey after their 4-3 win over the Woodstock (N.B.) Slammers in Sunday’s final of the RBC Cup in Humboldt, Sask.

Joey Benik (Andover, Minn.) scored the winning goal on the power play with 51 seconds remaining in regulation to secure the victory. Michael Garteig (Prince George, B.C.) made 22 saves for the win.

After dropping the first two games of the round-robin portion of the tournament, the Vees rattled off four straight wins to claim the championship.

It’s the third national title for a BCHL team in four seasons. The Vernon Vipers won in 2009 and 2010 and made the final in 2011 but lost to the Pembroke Lumber Kings. For the Penticton franchise, this is their first national title since 1986 when the Penticton Knights won it all.

At Friday’s RBC Awards Banquet, Penticton’s Troy Stecher (Richmond, B.C.) took home the tournament’s Top Defenceman trophy while fellow blueliner Kyle Beaulieu (White Rock, B.C.) was honoured with a $500 RBC Cup Legacy Scholarship.

The Vees will host their own year-end celebration and awards night from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 16 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.