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BCHL: Bono’s late-game heroics send Alberni Valley Bulldogs to Fred Page Cup finals

Bulldogs swept the Chilliwack Chiefs in four games
The Alberni Valley Bulldogs celebrate Ethan Bono’s goal in the first period of Game 2 against the Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday, April 1. (ELENA RARDON / Alberni Valley News)

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are headed to the Fred Page Cup finals for the first time in franchise history after sweeping the Chilliwack Chiefs in four games.

Ethan Bono, of Port McNeill, notched the game-winning goal with less than 30 seconds remaining in Game 4 in Chilliwack on Wednesday, May 3, giving the Bulldogs a 3-2 win and the BCHL’s Coastal Conference trophy.

The Bulldogs opened scoring in the first with a goal from Cam VanSickle. They kept up the 1-0 lead throughout the rest of the first frame and all of the second, until Chilliwack broke past Bulldogs goaltender Campbell Arnold early in the third with two goals.

Bulldogs defenceman Jax Wismer tied things up 2-2 with a goal of his own, and it looked like the game was headed to overtime before Bono nabbed the game-winner at 19:31 of the final frame, assisted by Will Elger. Arnold made 31 saves in the win.

In the Fred Page Cup finals, the Bulldogs will face the winner of the Penticton Vees and Salmon Arm Silverbacks series. The Vees currently have a 3-1 lead, after the Silverbacks staved off elimination with a 3-2 overtime win on Wednesday. Game 5 will take place Friday, May 5.

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