Vees rally to upend Warriors 6-4 in Interior final opener

Penticton Vees brush back West Kelowna Warriors 6-4 in Game 1 of BCHL Interior Conference final at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

After a nine-day layoff, a little rust was to be expected from the Penticton Vees.

After giving up a two-goal lead to the West Kelowna Warriors, the Vees stormed back to win Game 1 of the B.C. Hockey League’s Interior Conference final 6-4 Friday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Game 2 went Saturday in Penticton.

Wade Murphy paced the Vees’ offence with a pair of goals, scoring once on a first-period powerplay, and again early in the second period.

Single’s by Vernon’s Jedd Soleway and Ryan Gropp, with the eventual winner, made it 5-2 Penticton after 40 minutes. Brad McClure added an empty-netter with 29 seconds left in regulation.

Daniel Gayle and Max French, with the first of two goals, scored just over a minute apart to give the Warriors an early first-period lead in front of 2,000 fans.

David Pope had West Kelowna’s other snipe in the third period.

Chad Katunar made 25 saves for the win while Tyler Briggs stopped 21 shots for the Warriors.

Meanwhile, in the Coastal Conference final, Demico Hannoun scored with 1:21 remaining in regulation to give the Surrey Eagles a 1-0 win in Game 1 Friday night at South Surrey Arena.

Netminder Michael Santaguida finished with 33 saves for his third post-season shutout and first star. Jay Deo made 28 stops for third star.

ICE CHIPS: Ex-Vernon Viper Adam Tambellini, traded to Surrey at the carding deadline, is tied for the post-season scoring race with 7-4-11 in eight games.