Okanagan BCHL rivals, Penticton and Merritt, will battle it out

Okanagan BCHL rivals, Penticton and Merritt, will battle it out

The Penticton Vees are looking for their second win of the season over host Merritt Friday

Heading to Merritt Friday, the Penticton Vees are looking for their second B.C. Hockey League win of the season against the Interior Division leaders at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

The Vees (8-5-0-2) doubled the Centennials 6-3 (11-7) in their first meeting Sept. 28 and are currently tied with two other teams, Wenatchee Wild and Trail Smoke Eaters, for second place in the Interior standings with 18 points.

Short staffed, only dressing nine forwards and five defensemen the last two games, Penticton is coming off a heartbreaking 3-2 shootout loss Wednesday to the visiting Coquitlam Express.

One of the Vees who doing double-duty during the short bench stretch is Ryan Sandelin.

The 1999-born forward has already scored eight goals this season, including the winner in the game against Merritt, already equaling his 55-game total of last year.

“It’s been a good start, things are going pretty well,” said Sandelin, who’s committed to Minnesota State University for 2019/20. “Playing lots of minutes, obviously can’t complain. You like to have these guys (injured players) there but I’m taking the opportunity with the ice time I’m getting.”

Related: Penticton Vees have ‘statement’ game against the Chiefs

He also credited his teammates for their efforts in keeping the Vees in the game during this time.

“I think it’s got the point where we’ve gotten used to it, a lot of guys have been playing heavy minutes for a lot of time now,” said Sandelin. “There are guys that have stepped up and are playing really well in the absence of other guys, players like Jackson Niedermayer and obviously the Harrogate line.

“We’ve done a really good job doing things the right way, being smart with our shifts.”

There is some good news this week with the return of Luke Loheit on Friday. He has missed almost half the games the Vees have played so far due to mononucleosis. Loheit had two goals and one assist in the seven games he played.

Looking ahead to Friday’s match, Sandelin expects the Centennials to be hungry to avenge their earlier home-ice loss.

“It should be a tough game, I mean it’s a tough place to go into, the rink’s not the biggest,” he said. “But we’re getting another big piece of our line up back (Loheit).”

He added there is no secret to the Vees success over league-leading squads, including the short-staffed, hard-fought win over the Chilliwack Chiefs last Saturday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Related: Coquitlam Express down Penticton Vees in a shootout

“We just seem to lock it down really well against these good teams. We have to be on our best,” said Sandelin. “We know teams are going to bring their best, even though they might be on top and we’re not, cause it seems like everybody in the league wants to take us down.”

The Vees will also be looking for a little revenge of their own when they return home Saturday for a rematch against the West Kelowna Warriors.

Despite outshooting the Warriors 52-29 in West Kelowna on Oct. 19, they came out on the short end of a 3-2 score.

“We definitely believed we deserved a better fate than what we got,” said Sandelin. “We played really well and we’re just looking forward to getting those two points back.”

Start time at the South Okanagan Events Centre Saturday is 6 p.m.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

BCHLPenticton Vees

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman is hoping that her dog Ginger ran away from the fire that erupted in her Osoyoos home Saturday night. The home caught fire twice in two days and is totally destroyed. (Contributed)
Dog missing after saving woman from huge house fire in Osoyoos

The woman escaped the burning home, but she hopes her dog Ginger ran away to safety

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Two vehicles were involved in a collision around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Main Street and Industrial intersection. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Traffic slow after collision at Main and Industrial in Penticton

Two vehicles were involved and first responders are on scene

RCMP. (Black Press File)
BREAKING: Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered in Naramata

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

Sisters Audrey Cunningham and Donna Erdman, join the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus singing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Okanagan choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

A Falkland man will present a 600+ signature petition to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board Thursday, May 20, opposing dog control in Electoral Area D, which includes Falkland, Silver Creek, Salmon Valley and Ranchero/Deep Creek. (File photo)
600-plus sign Falkland man’s petition against dog control

Similar bylaw rejected by 200 public hearing attendees when topic came up 9 years ago

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Notes of hope, encouragement and camaraderie were left on the message board inside the kitchen of TacoTime. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Adiós, Taco Tuesday: Kelowna residents flock to TacoTime on restaurant’s final day

‘We don’t need another Starbucks. We need tacos on Tuesday, with extra hot sauce’

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read