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BCHL: Vees put focus on little details

The Penticton Vees put in the work over the week to get ready for weekend tilts with Merritt and West Kelowna.
Penticton Vees vs. Nanaimo Clippers
GRIFFIN MENDEL AND the Penticton Vees scored a 6-3 win over the West Kelowna Warriors Saturday in West Kelowna in BCHL action.

Griffin Mendel said you always want to get revenge after a loss.

Mendel and the Penticton Vees (11-2-0) won’t get that against the Nanaimo Clippers, who they were shutout 3-0 by on the weekend, until they head to Vancouver Island on Feb. 3, 2017. Instead, they will focus on getting back on the winning track when they face the Merritt Centennials (8-4-2-1) on Friday at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

Mendel said practice this week has been good with a fast pace. When they aren’t competing in practice as the coaches see fit, Mendel, a Kelowna product, said coach-general manager Fred Harbinson is good with sparking players.

“After that we usually rebound and have some pretty good practices,” he said.

The Vees have been working on small details. Among them, Mendel said, is having their stick on the ice in the neutral zone and getting back as hard as they can. They have also been working on their execution in every drill.

After the Nanaimo game, in which they fired 46 shots on goal, Harbinson said their missed opportunities is why he preaches scoring in practice.

“You score in practice you are going to score in games,” he said.

“So far things have been good,” said Vees assistant captain Owen Sillinger. “We have to bear down on our details. Getting better practice habits.”

Mendel said they have been playing pretty well and Sillinger said they have to stick to what they have been doing and “good things will come.”

READ MORE: Depth key to Vees early success

The Vees have a proven track record against the Centennials so far this season. They battled back from a 3-1 deficit in the third period to win 4-3.

Sillinger anticipates their rematch at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena to be physical. He pointed out they have to box out the Centennials and finish. Among the things the Centennials do well is handle the puck in their zone.

“We just have to play with our speed and our skill,” said Sillinger, who has six goals and 13 points in as many games.

Since the back-to-back losses to the Vees, the Centennials have won three of four games. On Saturday the Vees head to West Kelowna to take on the Warriors (5-6-1-0). Before hosting the Coquitlam Express on Wednesday, the Warriors had lost four straight.