Fred Harbinson is more concerned about his team than the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, who they visit Friday.
The Penticton Vees coach has been working on areas that contributed to a 4-1 loss to the Wild in Wenatchee on Oct. 29. He said the loss was a good learning lesson for his team.
“If you are not mentally and physically engaged, you need both of them to play against some of the best teams in the league,” said Harbinson. “It was a little bit of a humbling situation. Hopefully our guys will be ready to compete really well tomorrow night.”
The Silverbacks lost at home to the West Kelowna Warriors 4-2. Harbinson said they know who the Silverbacks’ (8-12-0) key guys are. Elijah Barriga leads in points with 23 in 20 games.
“They have been playing better as of late. It’s a tough division,” said Harbinson. “There is not a lot of separation between a lot of the teams. We built a little bit of a lead here, but that can evaporate in a hurry. That’s why we have been working hard the last couple of days on a few little details of the game.”
The Prince George Spruce Kings (8-8-0-2), who they host Saturday at 6 p.m., have won five of their last seven games.
“They have to be feeling pretty good about their game coming into our building,” said Harbinson.
The Vees and Spruce Kings met in the first game of the season in Prince George, with the visitors winning 4-0. In the Bauer BCHL Showcase, the Vees edged the Spruce Kings 3-2.
“The last game was real tight,” he said. “I think they are a team that got off to a tough start. Now have kind of found their way.”
Harbinson wants to see his team play with energy. If they don’t, like what happened against the Wild, he said they will be chasing all night.
“We looked like a puppy dog with one broken leg that was trying to catch a bone,” he joked about their play in Wenatchee. “At the end of the day I think I wanted to get put down.”
Harbinson has been happy with the work the players have put in this week and he likes what he has seen from newcomers Matt Gosiewski and Duncan Campbell. Harbinson has seen good hands from Gosiewski, while Campbell has shown he is a smart player.
“You can tell he’s been very well coached away from the puck,” said Harbinson.
Campbell will be on a line with Nicholas Jones and Chris Klack, while Gosiewski will play with Taylor Ward and Ty Barnstable.
Campbell said practices have gone well with lots of energy. To him players seem excited to get back to winning. The former Brandon Wheat King has worked on getting used to his new teammates and developing chemistry.
“I’m excited,” said Campbell of his first game. “I haven’t played for a month. It’s going to be something different. I’m really looking forward to getting back on track. I’m really looking forward to saturday.”
Jonathan Tychonick is playing for Canada White in the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. They opened with a 4-1 win over Canada Black on Oct. 30, then lost to the U.S 3-2 on Oct. 31. They lost on Tuesday to the Czech Republic 8-2. On Thursday, they defeated Canada Red 3-2 in the quarter-final. He has two assists in four games.
Harbinson said he has been playing well from the reports he received.