Taylor Ward goes in to steal the puck from a Wenatchee Wild player during Saturday’s 5-2 win for the Vees at the SOEC. Mark Brett/Western News

No-luck Penticton Vees continue to battle through injuries

Defenceman injured in BCHL game against Wenatchee Wild

If it were up to the Penticton Vees coaching staff, all their players would be skating around with a four-leaf clover in their skates.

Or, a horse shoe, a rabbit’s foot — anything to break them of their bad luck streak of injuries.

“Something. I think everybody in town needs to sacrifice a chicken or burn some candles or something,” said Vees head coach, general manager and president Fred Harbinson. “We had (Nicky) Lievermann go down on Saturday. It’s nuts. The funny thing now is we are past the stage of getting phased by another injury. We just deal with it and move on.”

Related: Vees snap losing skid

Lievermann, a defenceman who sits second overall in scoring on the team and is a Colorado Avalanche draft pick, left the game Saturday night against the Wenatchee Wild with an upper body injury. He is having minor surgery that the Vees hope will only keep him out four weeks. Chris Klack, who has been out since November appears to be ready for Wednesday’s game and Cassidy Bowes, who has been out with an injury since mid-December, needs a couple more weeks before he will be back.

Related: Vees lost top scorer

Add to that tally, season-ending injuries to Grant Cruikshank and defenceman Ryan O’Donnell and the carefully calculated plan for the season by the Vees staff might as well be ripped up and tossed in the garbage.

Related: Penticton Vees hit with another injury to a key player

“I have never seen something like this and all to top players and long, lengthy injuries. We feel like we have recruited two different teams this year,” said Harbinson. “But hey, we are still fighting here and fighting until the end.”

That battle continues on Wednesday against the Merritt Centennials. With so many changes in the lineup, Harbinson said they haven’t had time to build line chemistry. Instead, they have replaced that with plain, old, simple hard work.

“I have had seasons where you put your lines together and maybe a couple of them stay exactly the same from the first game of the year to the last. We are not worried about messing with any chemistry because there isn’t any. I guaranteed going into our last two games we would be the hardest working team and we were … We were great for the whole weekend and competed exactly how I asked of them and it will be the same on Wednesday.”

Related: True grit lifts Vees to a pair of home-ice wins

The Vees have the upper hand in the series of games against the Centennials so far this season.

“Right before Christmas (the Centennials) got really hot and they are fighting to get better. For us, I don’t care what colour the jersey is across from us or what the logo says on the front of their jersey. For us, it is trying to create and build traction with our team. I thought we knuckled down and got the results we needed this past weekend and we don’t want to take a step back now,” said Harbinson.

 

Just Posted

Local firefighters, B.C. Wildfire battling bush blaze east of Oliver

Oliver Fire spokesperson could not give estimate of fire’s size, said 30 local firefighters on scene

As Penticton Indian Band goes dry, lessons from a northern neighbour

The Esk’etemc First Nation, a Secwepemc people near Williams Lake, has been dry since 1972

Police with guns drawn in downtown Kelowna

RCMP close off part of Leon Avenue as they search for a man

Peter’s Bros. scores $9M federal contract to repave highway in Jasper

The Penticton-based company is expected to complete the highway repaving project by late-October

Elvis lives again in Penticton

Elvis Festival back this weekend for 17th year

Over 800 cars ready to roll into Peach City Beach Cruise

Largest Peach City Beach Cruise event to-date to take place in Penticton

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Vernon cold case murder suspect bail hearing Tuesday

Paramjit Singh Bogarh will appear in Vernon Law Courts at 10 a.m. June 19

Tigers looking to lock up title

Face Flames tonight in Penticton

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Remains of two people found on Vancouver Island

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to two missing men, last seen in Ucluelet in mid-May

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Most Read