Joey Benik scored the go-ahead goal with less than a minute to play and the Penticton Vees captured the national junior A hockey championship with a 4-3 victory over the Woodstock Slammers on Sunday at the RBC Cup.
It’s the Vees second national championship and first since winning the Centennial Cup in 1986 as the Penticton Knights.
Bryce Gervais, Travis St. Denis and Steven Fogarty scored the other goals for the Vees, who represented British Columbia.
Bradley Greene scored twice for the Slammers who held a 3-2 lead in the third period before the Vees rallied. Nick Huard had the other goal for the team out of New Brunswick.
St. Denis opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 6:13 and Fogarty doubled the Vees’ lead at 12:18.
Greene got his first of the night to make it 2-1 midway through the first.
Huard tied it with a power-play goal in the second period at 7:48 and Greene restored the Slammers’ lead with his second a minute into the final period.
Gervais pulled the Vees even at 11:10 to set up Benik’s winner on the power play. Woodstock’s Jake Logan was off for tripping.
Michael Garteig made 31 saves for Penticton, while Matt Murphy stopped 21 shots at the other end.
The Vees are the seventh Pacific Region champion to reach the national final in the last eight years.
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