Another year, another Fred Page Cup championship series between the Vernon Vipers and Powell River Kings.
The teams begin the best-of-seven playoff final series Friday night at Wesbild Centre. The BCHL champion moves to the Doyle Cup regional series against the Alberta Junior Hockey League winner.
The Vipers, who won the Royal Bank Cup as national champions last year, are making their 10th trip to the league final since 1996.
Vernon grounded the Penticton Vees 4-1 Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre to take the Interior Conference final series 4-2.
Powell River capped an incredible comeback by using a 41-save showing from Josh Watson in a 3-0 win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Saturday for Game 7 glory. The Dawgs blew a 3-1 series lead.
The Vipers, who knocked out the Kings in six games last year, split with Powell River in the regular season. Vernon won at home Jan. 29 and then lost in overtime Feb. 4 on the Sunshine Coast. Vernon was first overall and Powell River fifth in the 17-team league.
Defencemen Dan Nycholat and Adam Thompson, and winger Kellen Jones supplied powerplay goals for the Vipers in Penticton. Centre Braden Pimm scored what proved to be the winner with 3:41 left in the first period. Mike Collins, who assisted on the winner, finished with three helpers.
Eric Filliou scored for the Vees 4:05 into the game before 2,221 fans. Each team had 30 shots with Graeme Gordon posting his seventh win of the post-season and Sean Bonar suffering the loss.
Mat Bodie, Brenden Forbes and Ben Schmidt, with an empty netter, handled the offence as Powell River stunned the Bulldogs before 1,854 fans at Weyerhaeuser Arena.