The Penticton Vees have wrapped up another season in spectacular fashion.
After a third period comeback against the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday night, the Vees look ahead to the start of playoffs.
Before that, the Vees celebrated their players and recognized their achievements on and off the ice.
First, the team and organization recognized Annet Pogge-Gordon, the team’s scout liaison among other roles, as the Number One Volunteer.
Colton Kalezic received the Unsung Hero award, for his significant contributions to the team that don’t always get noticed.
Most Improved Player went to Carson Kosobud, after joining the team halfway through the previous season, and then making greater impacts for his 20-year-old season this year.
After an injury in the 2018-19 season, Drew Elser didn’t know if he would be able to play hockey again. He returned to Penticton in January, and for his work in overcoming adversity he was recognized with the Robert Skinner Courage Award.
Recognizing his off-ice work in the community of Penticton, the Humanitarian Award went to Jackson Neidermeyer.
Jay O’Brien, with 25 goals including Saturday’s overtime winner, was recognized as the leading scorer for the Vees. He was also recognized as the best conditioned Vee on the team.
With no penalties until game 55 in the season, Liam Malmquist earned the Most Sportsmanlike Award, and for his first season with the Vees, the title of Rookie of the Year as well.
“It’s definitely huge, it’s a big honour,” said Malmquist. “A lot of good players have won that award, a lot of good players in that room as well. Everybody’s been a great teammate, it’s easy to play for those guys. As a rookie, it’s all new all this junior hockey stuff, especially coming from highschool. I’ve learned a lot from those guys, I think I’ve matured, and I’m going to keep playing for them.”
This year’s MVP, completing his fourth season in the BCHL and second as a member of the Vees, was captain David Silye. As captain, he is one of the players the others look to for leadership, which he showcases with his hard work.
“Obviously it feels amazing to get it in my last season, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” said Silye. “Especially my linemates, [Lukas] Sillinger, Neidermeyer, and O’Brien. I have to give credit to them too.”
The Vees start off the playoffs at home on Thursday night when they take on the West Kelowna Warriors.
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