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Penticton Vees down Alberni Valley Bulldogs, take 1-0 series lead in BCHL Finals

Game No. 2 of the fourth-round series goes Saturday night in Penticton
Mason Poolman, right, scored his first career BCHL playoff goal in Game No. 1 of the Fred Page Cup Finals on Friday, May 12, at the South Okanagan Events Centre. (Photo- Cherie Morgan)

Mason Poolman scored his first goal in 82 games and the Penticton Vees used a 4-3 victory Friday night, May 12, to claim Game No. 1 of the Fred Page Cup Finals against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Poolman finished with two points after scoring his first-career playoff goal, including one of three Penticton markers in the second period.

The younger brother of Vancouver Canucks defenceman Tucker Poolman was joined by Nic DeGraves, Thomas Pichette and Josh Nadeau as Vees goal scorers on Friday.

Alberni Valley was led on the scoresheet by Nicholas Beneteau and Matthew Maltais, with the former finding the back of the net twice.

The Vees have now won 42 home games in a row, dating back to April 2022.

After the teams traded goals in the opening period, Penticton took a 3-1 lead in the middle frame courtesy of goals from Nadeau and Poolman, his first overall since January 2022.

Maltais responded later in the period, before Pichette beat Bulldogs goaltender Campbell Arnold to give the Vees two-lead into the final frame.

Beneteau’s second goal of the game midway through the third period closed out the scoring in Game No. 1.

Vees netminder Luca Di Pasquo made 33 saves to record his 13th win this postseason, in front of 3,217 at the SOEC.

Arnold made 32 saves in a losing effort.

The teams return to the ice Saturday, May 13, at the SOEC for Game No. 2. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

The Alberni Valley Multiplex hosts the third and fourth games of the series next week, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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