HUMBOLDT, Sask. – The Penticton Vees and Woodstock Slammers will meet for the 2012 RBC Cup, Canada’s 42nd National Junior A Championship, after posting semifinal wins on Saturday at Elgar Petersen Arena. The Vees defeated the Soo Thunderbirds 3-0, while the Slammers topped the host Humboldt Broncos 4-3 in overtime.
Sunday’s championship game can be see live on TSN2 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, and on tape delay on the main TSN network at midnight ET/9 p.m. PT. Check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.
With a win Sunday, the Slammers would be the first team from the Maritime Hockey League to win the national championship since the Halifax Oland Exports in 2002, and would be the second East Region team in a row, following last year’s win by the Pembroke Lumber Kings. The Vees are looking for their second national championship; Penticton, then known as the Knights, won the Centennial Cup in 1986, and is the seventh Pacific Region champion to reach the championship game in the last eight years.
In Saturday’s early semifinal, Ben MacSwain was the overtime hero, scoring 35 seconds into the extra period to complete Woodstock’s comeback from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits and hand the host Broncos their first loss of the tournament. Tim Campbell scored twice, Sam Caldwell had the other goal and Matt Murphy made 40 saves for the Slammers, who are the first team to reach the final in their RBC Cup debut since the Prince George Spruce Kings in 2007.
In the late game, the Vees got goals from Wade Murphy, Logan Johnston and Curtis Loik to get a measure of revenge on the Thunderbirds, who beat the Penticton 2-1 in the tournament opener last Saturday. Michael Garteig made 20 saves for the shutout, while his counterpart, Soo netminder John Kleinhans, who was named Top Goaltender and Most Valuable Player at Friday’s awards banquet, stopped 30 shots to give him 212 saves in five games.
The teams met Tuesday in preliminary round action – Joey Benik scored the winner for the Vees early in the third period as Penticton erased a 1-0 second period deficit and earned its first victory of the 2012 RBC Cup, 2-1 over the Slammers.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Keegan Goodrich, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of media relations, will be on site at the 2012 RBC Cup and will be the media contact for interviews, information or photos. He can be reached at 403-519-5754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.