Game 5 Friday: Surrey Eagles are home vs. Penticton in tight fight for BC Hockey League title

Playoff series tied 2-2, with winner to face Brooks Bandits in Alberta
Surrey Eagles players celebrate a goal against Penticton Vees during a BCHL playoff game on Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (Contributed photo: Tav Morrison/Eagles)

Tonight (Friday) at South Surrey Arena, Surrey Eagles host a massive Game 5 playoff hockey game against Penticton Vees, 7:30 p.m. puck drop.

The BCHL rivals are tied 2-2 in a series to decide the league’s Fred Page Cup champion.

Wednesday (May 22) in the Okanagan city, the Eagles tied the series with a 3-2 road win to regain home-ice advantage. Surrey led 3-0 after the first period with goals from Aaron Schwartz, Carter Frankiw and Micah Berger, then held on as Penticton pushed in the final two periods.

Vees forward Cade Littler scored with 27 seconds left in the third, but Eagles goaltender Ajeet Gundarah shut the door after that, stopping 29 of 31 shots he faced over the full 60 minutes of action.

With a goal and an assist, Berger extended his lead atop BCHL playoff scoring with 24 points in 22 games.

Meantime, Brooks Bandits defeated Sherwood Park Crusaders in the BCHL’s Alberta championship final. Brooks now awaits the winner of Eagles/Vees series. The B.C. winner will travel to Alberta to face the Bandits in the Rocky Mountain Challenge, a best-of-three season-ending series from May 31 to June 2. All Rocky Mountain Challenge games will be played at Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks.

The Vees, whose roster is loaded with college-committed players including four drafted by NHL teams, have won back-to-back Fred Page Cup titles and are looking to be the BCHL’s first “three-peat” championship team since Vernon Vipers from 2009 to 2011.

This is the second time Surrey and Penticton have met in the league finals, first in 2013. That year, the Eagles beat the Vees in six games to win the Fred Page Cup, and Penticton has since won four BCHL titles. A Lower Mainland-based team hasn’t won the trophy since Coquitlam Express did so in 2014.


Game 5: Friday, May 24 – Penticton at Surrey – 7:30 p.m. PT

Game 6: Sunday, May 26 – Surrey at Penticton – 5 p.m. PT

Game 7: Tuesday, May 28 – Penticton at Surrey – 7:15 p.m.*

(*If necessary)

• RELATED: Surrey Eagles travel to Penticton for Game 3, 4 of BCHL playoffs

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and townmillbrewery
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