The Penticton Vees are one win away from capturing the Fred Page Cup.
An overtime-winning goal from Stefano Bottini clinched a 3-2 victory Vees victory against the Nanaimo Clippers in the third game of the BCHL Finals on Tuesday night, May 17.
Nearly three minutes after the start of the extra frame, Bottini beat Clippers netminder Cooper Black to score his third of the playoffs, solidifying the Vees’ 15th playoff win in a row and extending the team’s series lead to 3-0.
Bottini’s marker will go down as among the most memorable for the Vees, with the forward becoming the first Penticton player to score an overtime winner during the 2022 playoffs.
After a scoreless opening frame, Nanaimo took its first lead of the series in the second period.
The lead, however, would be short-lived after the Vees’ Frank Djurasevic scored his first-ever playoff goal. An additional marker from playoff-leading-scorer Josh Nadeau propelled Penticton to a 2-1 advantage shortly after.
The Clippers would tie the game halfway through the third period, eventually sending the game to overtime.
Penticton has yet to lose a road playoff game in 2022. Nanaimo, meanwhile, was handed its first loss on home ice during the postseason on Tuesday.
A win on Wednesday, May 18, at the Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo will clinch the Fred Page Cup Finals for the Vees, who are looking to win their second BCHL title in five years.
“We’re going to come out the same way, the same game plan, tweak some things here and there, but we know what we’ve got to do and take care of things, shift by shift,” said Michael Craig, the captain of the Clippers, to Black Press.
Puck drop is slated at 7 p.m.
It's a VEES PLAYOFF GAME DAY!
The Vees have a chance at winning the Fred Page Cup tonight in Game #4!
— Penticton Vees (@PentictonVees) May 18, 2022