Duncan Campbell brings more than just a physical presence to the Penticton Vees and their playoff run.
His post-season experience is invaluable. Campbell has 38 Western Hockey League playoff games and another three Memorial Cup games on his resume with his hometown Brandon Wheat Kings. He often thinks back on those games.
“The experience I had with Brandon was really fortunate,” said Campbell, who will join the Queen’s University Gaels next fall. “Two long seasons, both back-to-back finals. Just seeing what it takes to get the wins.”
Among the things it takes is not being selfish. It’s about doing the little things, blocking shots or winning battles, going hard all the time. The six-foot-three, 190-pound forward said the extra touches make the difference. There are specific moments he reflects back on, even in times of adversity, which he said will always be there. As he put it, players are not always going to perform their best.
“You just have to keep your head up, just keep grinding, keep working hard and hopefully the bounces will come and things will go your way,” he said. “It’s not going to be pretty all the time. Sometimes you have to battle through it and do it the ugly way.”
Campbell likes how he has been performing in the playoffs, adding there is some fatigue that factors in when playing a large amount of a games in a short time frame. However, he said it is about being smarter and making good decisions with the puck. Reading plays well and working with his teammates.
“I think we had a good first round our line (with Nicholas Jones and Chris Klack),” said Campbell, who put up four points in seven games.
Campbell said the series with the Vernon Vipers has been hard-fought. Having a young lineup with not much playoff experience, it’s about going out and setting the right example.
“Cheer when they lay a hit or take a hit to make a play,” he said. “You have to encourage them. Tell them they are doing the right things.”
Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson said hopefully he’s rubbing off on guys.
Vees notes: Jones is the BCHL’s Player of the Week for the week ending April 2. Jones racked up three goals and four helpers in three games against the Merritt Centennials in round two and opened up the Interior finals against Vernon. In a do-or-die Game seven on home ice, Jones came through with two goals – including the winner – plus two helpers and was named first star. He picked up an assist in game one against Vernon and followed that with a goal and an assist in another first-star night in game two. The Edmonton native is currently third in playoff scoring despite Penticton having a bye through round one.
Jost debuts against Wild
Former Penticton Vees captain and University of North Dakota Fighting Hawk Tyson Jost made his NHL debut with the Colorado Avalanche against the St. Louis Blues on March 31, in a 2-1 win.
“It was awesome. It was nice to get that win, too, in the shootout,” Jost said on Avalanche.com. “It was a great game, and it was everything that I expected. It was a pretty surreal experience. It was great to come up with these guys and get used to everything and also have my family in the crowd, too. It was everything I dreamed of, even more.” Jost’s first shift was with Rene Bourque and Matt Nieto.
“There were a little bit of nerves, for sure,” said Jost. “I think that is pretty usual. I’m only human. Once I got a couple shifts under my feet and started getting some confidence, I thought I played pretty good.”
Jost finished with two shots, a hit, takeaway and a blocked shot in 13 minutes, 25 seconds of action. He was also five-for-10 in the faceoff circle on the third line. In his second game, Jost finished with one shot, one hit and one takeaway in 15:56 of ice time. He went four-for-seven in the faceoff circle and also saw 56 seconds of playing time on the team’s second power-play unit.