Penticton minor hockey teams facing important games
Penticton minor hockey teams continue to make deep pushes into the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association playoffs.
The bantam Tier 2 Smile Enhancement Studio Vees face a do-or-die game against the Kamloops Blazers at home Sunday at Memorial Arena at 2:30 p.m. After taking the first game 4-3 in overtime, the Vees lost Game 2, 4-1. During the regular season, both teams went head-to-head six times, each winning three.
"It's pretty close," said Vees coach Doug MacMillan. "It's going to be a pretty tight game. If we stay out of the box we will be fine. If we want to play stupid hockey then we're going to lose. It's that simple I think."
MacMillan said he has a more talented group, but they seem to like spending time in the penalty box.
"Our kids don't seem to figure out they can't punch kids in the head, especially at playoff time," add MacMillan.
Playing a disciplined game, goaltender Shane Farkas will be the difference-maker for MacMillan, adding that the net minder has looked strong.
A two-goal effort by Zoe Konanz put the Peaches Lingerie female midget Vees into the second round. The Vees defeated Clearwater 5-0. Also scoring for the Vees were Sydney Garnett, Amy Main and Cassie Kolisnyk. The Vees received strong defensive efforts from Stef Knoll, Bailey Johnson, Sage Collins, Sophia Reimer and Haley Lund. Hunter Prall earned her second straight shutout.
The Tier 2 midget Vees swept the Kamloops Blazers last weekend. After winning 5-0 at home, the Vees doubled up the Blazers 4-2 in Kamloops. The Vees now await the winner of Kelowna and West Kelowna and play in the final series set to begin on Feb. 23.
The Barley Mill midget Vees are playing Game 2 of their series against West Kelowna on Saturday. The Vees lost the first game 2-1. Vees coach Jamie Fulton said his team was leading in the third period but West Kelowna managed to score late to steal the win. Fulton said he is confident his team will be OK.
"We outplayed them," he said. "They just got a couple of goals at the end."
The Penticton peewee Game Action Vees swept the Penticton Firefighters in two games winning 4-3 then 10-4. Game Action Vees coach Shea Sanche said his players came out a little flat in the first game, which was decided with 16 seconds left. The second game Sanche said was their best of the year. They came out flying and led 5-0 after the first period.
"They were just on fire. Everybody played really well," said Sanche, whose team now faces West Kelowna in the semifinal. Sanche expects their matchup with West Kelowna to be close. Their first game is Saturday in West Kelowna then play Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at Memorial Arena.
Another two Penticton teams went head-to-head this time at the bantam level as the BPO Elks faced Penticton 3, who finished first in the regular season. The Elks were pleased to earn a 7-7 tie in Game 1. In Game 2, Penticton 3 defeated the BPO Elks 5-3. In the third and deciding game, Penticton 3 once again won by the same score.
"In both of those games, we were down several goals and made late comebacks. It was a case of too little too late each time," said BPO Elks coach Mario Carelse. "All three games were very competitive and fun to watch. My coaches and I were very happy with the strong effort our boys made playing against a team that finished so much higher than us in the standings."
The BPO Elks are now looking forward to the City Cup.
In atom action, the Penticton Johnston and Meier Vees faced off against the South Okanagan Flames with the first game ending in a 7-7 tie. During game 2 in Oliver, the Vees coaches said their players worked hard and played their best, but lost 6-5. It all came down to Sunday. Penticton pulled through with a 4-3 victory with goalies on both sides making amazing saves. The Flames ended up winning the series as they scored in overtime.
"It was an amazing series of hockey, with all of the kids putting on a great show for their fans," said Penticton manager Nancy Whyte.
Penticton atom rec Okanagan Hockey School Venom swept Summerland in two games winning 9-5 and 11-5. Scoring for the Venom in both games were Isaac Newson and Ethan Clutterbuck with five goals, Marlo Spence with three, two by Sam Burghardt and David Robertson and singles goals by Cohyn Cutler, Grady Lancaster and Khy Cutler. Devon Beyer played in goal for both games. The Venom has now advanced to the finals and are waiting for their opponent.