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Vees net offence on deadline day
Acquiring John Siemer from the Coquitlam Express has Wade Murphy very excited.
Siemer, who sits third in BCHL scoring with 49 points in 39 games, is described by Murphy, who was acquired by the Penticton Vees last season on deadline day, as “obviously very skilled.”
Sporting a massive grin, Murphy said the Glendora, Calif., product, acquired on Jan. 10, has playmaking ability.
“He’s got everything,” said Murphy, who has 16 goals and 45 points in 34 games. “Very good hands as well. He’s a good addition to our team.”
While Siemer was held off the scoresheet during the 2-1 loss to the Surrey Eagles on Jan. 11 and a 5-1 win against the Langley Rivermen on Jan. 12, Murphy said he felt himself, Siemer and Michael Rebry had instant chemistry.
“He’s played very well last weekend,” said Murphy.
Siemer wasn’t completely happy with his play saying it was rough as he wasn’t used to his new linemates.
“I think after the first period of the first game, I think we started clicking,” said Siemer. “The next night we had tons of opportunities. I have a good feeling about our line.”
Siemer, who scored 48 goals and amassed 108 points in 87 BCHL games with the Express, said it was unbelievable to play with Murphy and Rebry.
“It’s like a bunch of skill out there,” said Siemer, who doesn’t anticipate problems producing. “You always just have to be in the right spot and you’re getting the puck. I have a good feeling about this group.”
Bound for Northern Michigan University next season, Siemer knew he was being traded. It was the Express’ intentions to give the 20-year-old a chance to win in his final year of junior.
“It was good move for me and obviously it’s hard to leave the guys,” said Siemer, who loved his time in Coquitlam.
In a release, Harbinson said they are excited to add a player of Siemer’s skill and character.
“Another California kid that you can tell has a heck of a lot of skill and vision,” Harbinson told the Western News. “He seems like he’s fit in really well with our team. He could have easily had four or five points if we had buried a couple of our chances. He hit a post himself on a breakaway. Very dangerous player with the puck.”
Harbinson acquired a forward as there was some uncertainty with regards to the health of Louie Nanne. The rookie was dealing with some upper body issues. On Tuesday, Harbinson confirmed that Nanne is good to return following a magnetic resonance imaging test. Nanne is probable for the Island road trip that begins Friday in Powell River and concludes in Coquitlam Sunday. If he doesn’t dress, Nanne will be ready the following weekend.
Between the pipes, Harbinson was pleased with the performance of Nic Renyard, who stepped in for Chad Katunar. The Vees No. 1 goalie was at home in Victoria dealing with personal issues.
“Nic did a great job last weekend,” said Harbinson. “Nic’s made the saves that he had to.”
Katunar, who returned to the Vees on Sunday, was happy for his net minding partner.
“It was great that he got some time between the pipes,” said Katunar. “He took the ball and ran with it.”
“It was pretty exciting for me personally to get a few games in there against some big teams,” said Renyard. “I felt pretty good about myself on how I played.The team was obviously great in front of me the two weeks.”
Katunar said his time off was good. He spent it with his father and grandmother. Now that he’s back, he was excited to see his teammates, and the feeling was mutual.
“Real positive reaction from everyone,” said Katunar, who was ranked 33rd among 35 North American goalies in the NHL Central Scouting recently released. “We’re like a family in that dressing room and it’s great.”
Both goalies said they were unsure of Harbinson’s plan on who he will play the first game. However, Harbinson said Katunar will get the nod against the Kings on Friday.
“He’s looked really good in practice the last couple days,” said Harbinson. “It’s a great one-two punch.”
The Vees next home game is Jan. 25 and 26 when they host the Vernon and West Kelowna.