Nick Buchanan's season ended in a flourish

Nick Buchanan's season ended in a flourish

Trio help Vees to BCHL title

Wade Murphy leads trio of Greater Victoria hockey on B.C. champion Penticton Vees, going to RBC Cup in Humboldt, Sask. May 5 to 13

Some say the Penticton Vees are on the verge of being the greatest junior A team in Canadian history.

It’s high praise, much of it worthy, and should make folklore out of three players on the team from Greater Victoria who are going with the Vees to the RBC Cup national junior A hockey championship, May 5-13 in Humboldt, Sask.

The Vees finished the regular season with 42 wins in a row and set the B.C. Hockey League record with 54 wins in 60 games.

Factoring heavily in the Vees success is former South Island Thunderbirds major midget goalie Chad Katunar.

Last week Katunar was named BCHL player of the week as the Vees completed a sweep of the Powell River Kings in the BCHL final to win the Fred Page Cup.

Katunar stopped 129 of 136 shots against the Kings, a .949 save percentage, and .938 overall in the playoffs.

Meanwhile ex-Saanich Braves and Victoria Grizzlies forward Wade Murphy tied for the lead in playoff scoring (nine goals, nine assists) with Vees teammate Joey Benik (eight goals).

Murphy recently shot up to 142nd among North American skaters in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft rankings.

Former Victoria Cougars and Grizzlies defenceman Nick Buchanan played all 15 games, scoring once.

Katunar, 18, will likely return to the BCHL next year while Buchanan (Minnesota State-Mankato) and Murphy (Merrimac) are going to play Div. 1 hockey in the NCAA.