Penticton Vees
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LANGLEY RIVERMEN defenceman Turner Popoff decides to use his stick in another manner on Penticton Vees forward Cody DePourcq. The Vees forward returned the favour by scoring his teams third goal in a 5-1 win on Saturday. The Vees also cruised past the Merritt Centennials the night before 7-1.
Joe Fries/Western News

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Soleway and DePourcq shine for Vees

Jedd Soleway has made an immediate impression on his Penticton Vees linemates.

After being dealt to Penticton from the Vernon Vipers for Dexter Dancs last week, Soleway earned an assist on Louie Nanne’s hat trick goal to give the Vees a 7-1 win Friday. He also dished out some big hits. On Saturday against the Langley Rivermen, he was a bigger offensive threat, scoring his first as a Vee and adding two assists.

“He played unreal,” said Vees forward Wade Murphy, who skated on a line with Soleway and Nanne. “I’m real excited to play with him. He goes hard to the net.”

During the Vees’ recent Coach’s Corner show, similarities between Soleway and former captain Logan Johnston were discussed. Soleway has a one-inch advantage on Johnston. Murphy agreed that there are similarities between them.

“He’s just as big,” said Murphy. “He is powerful and has a great shot. He has hockey smarts.”

Murphy also said Soleway’s presence makes the Vees tougher because “our forwards were kind of small.”

Against the Rivermen, Murphy, who also had a goal and two assists in the win, noticed Soleway had more confidence playing alongside him. Murphy said he, Soleway and Nanne can be successful.

Besides being impressed by Soleway’s size, Nanne said the line is complemented with the Vernon product because he brings a two-way game with skill. It blends well with Murphy’s scoring abilities and Nanne’s own two-way game. Nanne is excited to see what the line can do.

“He’s a real hard worker,” said Nanne. “He helps on ice and in practice. He is pushing guys to next level.”

Another player having a strong weekend for the Vees on the stats sheet was Cody DePourcq. The Penticton product snapped a 22-game goal drought with two against Merritt. He then scored one against the Rivermen. All three of his goals were on the backhand, two on wraparound plays.

“He’s been snake bitten,” said Murphy. “He’s worked hard. Watching him is definitely inspiring. He’s the hardest worker out there.”

DePourcq said he felt a weight come off after scoring three goals. Despite his struggles offensively, he didn’t want to think about it too much.

“I feel like I’m playing very well,” he said. “I just try to figure out other ways to help the team be successful.”

Having four goals and 11 points after 30 games may not be what DePourcq had in mind, but he hasn’t lost confidence. He’s also happy in the other areas he’s improved.

“I’m much better defensively, much smarter,” he said. “I realize what it takes to be a centreman in this league.”

As for the Vees’ play, Murphy said he likes how the team is looking. They are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10.

“Those were our best two games of the year,” he said.

On Wednesday the Vees host the Salmon Arm SilverBacks. The last time the teams met in Salmon Arm, the Vees lost 3-2 in overtime. Murphy said they will be looking for revenge.

“They are young and good,” said Murphy, adding that the SilverBacks have become a hard working group.

Vees notes: Through 14 games, Vees attendance at the South Okanagan Events Centre is down 899 from 22,484 last year in the same number of games. It’s an average of 64 fewer fans per game.Murphy snapped a five-game goal drought when he scored the opening goal against the Rivermen. He is second in BCHL scoring with 38 points.



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