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Surrey pushes Penticton to brink of elimination in BCHL Finals

Teams meet in the Okanagan on Sunday, with the Eagles looking to close out the series
Surrey Eagles and Penticton Vees battle in Game 5 of the Fred Page Cup Finals on Friday, May 24. (Tav Morrison photo)

Ajeet Gundarah made 31 saves and recorded his second shutout of the BCHL Finals as the Surrey Eagles blanked the Penticton Vees 4-0 on Friday, May 24, in Game 5 at South Surrey Arena.

The Eagles scored four goals on 16 shots to move within one win of capturing the Fred Page Cup.

Surrey now leads the best-of-seven series 3-2, with Game 6 set for Sunday, May 26 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

“We’re not producing enough high-quality chances right now,” said Vees assistant coach Matthew Vanden Berg. “We got to find a way to get some shots from the inside and make life a little harder on them.”

Evan Brown and Ryden Evers scored at 5:41 and 6:57 of the first period respectively, marking the second game in a row that Surrey had jumped out to an early lead on Penticton. In Game 5, the Eagles took a 3-0 advantage into the second period.

After Ryan Evenhuis added to Surrey’s lead at 4:29 of the second period, Rylan Bonkowski scored his first of the playoffs midway through the final frame to make it 4-0 Eagles.

Andrew Ness made 12 saves and got the start for Penticton on Friday after replacing Will Ingemann to start the second period in Game 4 on Wednesday.

The Vees will look to force a Game 7 on Sunday, with puck drop set for 5 p.m.

If Penticton wins, the series will shift to the Lower Mainland for one final game on Tuesday, May 28.

“We’ve been in this spot before and came back in our last series against Salmon Arm,” Vanden Berg said. “We’re going back home and it’s gut check time and we need to bring it Sunday.”

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