Penticton Vees captain Nicholas Jones was named player of the game for Penticton in their 3-1 semifinal loss to the Cobourg Cougars in the Royal Bank Cup. Jones scored the Vees’ only goal. Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images

Vees come up short in RBC semifinal

The Penticton Vees lose to the Cobourg Cougars, ending their Royal Bank Cup tournament

The Penticton Vees fell short in their pursuit of winning the Royal Bank Cup.

The Vees lost 3-1 to the host Cobourg Cougars Saturday at the Cobourg Community Centre, with Spencer Roberts icing the game with an empty net goal. He fought off defenceman James Miller to seal the win.

Down by a goal with four minutes remaining in regulation, the Vees were given a power play but couldn’t convert. A couple of minutes later, the teams traded solid chances as Ryan Casselman broke in on Robson with Taylor Sanheim backchecking hard. Casselman cut to his left, but Robson was able to deny him with the help of a poke check. Later on defenceman Gabe Bast fired a wrist shot from about 15 feet from the goal that hit the post.

“Our guys fought to the end hitting our fourth goal post of the game with 90 seconds left to play,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson via text message. “Cobourg played the same game as we saw the first time we played them. Unfortunately we beat them in the wrong game. If we had the opportunity to play them in a seven-game series, I like our chances, but that’s not the case.

“I’m proud of what we accomplished with this team.”

Nicholas Jones gave the Vees a 1-0 lead on the power play in the second period at 11:13 when he put away a Chris Klack feed from in tight on Stefano Durante. Massimo Rizzo also picked up an assist. That lead last just over four minutes when the Cougars countered on a power play of their own. Minerva passed it across to Daniel McKitrick, who at the side of the net fired a shot past Mathew Robson with nine seconds to go on the power play.

The Cougars netted the eventual winner at 8:05 of the third period. Theo Lewis got hold of a loose puck and fired it past Robson, with defenceman Nick Minerva picking up the assist. Minerva set up the play skating towards the Vees net and firing a shot that gave out a rebound.

Robson finished with 25 saves, while Durante made 27.


Penticton Vee Grant Cruikshank tries to provide a screen as a shot makes its way to Cobourg Cougars goalie Stefano Durante during Royal Bank Cup semifinal action Saturday. Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images

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