Penticton Vees get championship attributes from committed trio

On Saturday, the Vees announced the commitments of forward Anthony Conti, Riley Alferd and defenceman Brett Beauvais.

Filling holes continues for the Penticton Vees.

On Saturday, the Vees announced the commitments of forward Anthony Conti (1995-born), Riley Alferd (95) and defenceman Brett Beauvais (94) for the 2013-2014 season.

Vees coach and general manager Fred Harbinson said the three will be key pieces for another long playoff run.

“There are many different attributes needed to build a championship team,” said Harbinson in a press release. “In one week we have added significant toughness, speed, and veteran leadership to our defense core. We are very fortunate to add three quality people. Anthony, Riley and Brett will play a large role in assuring we compete for a championship”

Conti, 17, just completed his second season in the BC Major Midget League (BCMML) with the Northwest Giants, where he helped guide them to their fifth consecutive league championship. Conti finished fifth in team scoring with 18 goals and 48 points in 35 games. The North Vancouver product carried his regular season success into the playoffs collecting three goals and eight points in as many games as the Giants beat the Okanagan Rockets in the best-of-three BCMML final. Conti is described as being a power forward with his six-foot-three, 198-pound frame and is known for his hard-nosed and relentless style of play.

Alferd, 18, will be playing closer to home after spending last season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of United States Hockey League (USHL). The Vancouver, Wash., native had five goals and 11 points in 55 games with Muskegon in 2012-13. Prior to playing in the USHL, five-foot-10, 160-pound forward spent two seasons with the LA Jr. Kings U-16 program.  In 69 games over two seasons he tallied 13 goals and 51 points in 69 games. Alferd is described as an elite skater with a natural ability to develop into a consistent point producer.

Beauvais joins Brayden Park on the blue line bringing offensive punch. He spent the last two seasons with the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Last season the Summerside, P.E.I., product tallied seven goals and 34 points in 50 games and was recently drafted 11th overall in the USHL’s Phase 2 Draft. In 129 career games over two season, the five-foot-11, 164-pound defenceman scored 13 goals and added 46 assists in the NAHL. Twice Beauvais has suited up for Team Atlantic at the 2010 and 2011 World U-17 Hockey Challenge. Beauvais will join the Bemidji State Beavers in the fall of 2014.

Also joining the Vees next season is forward Matt Serratore (94). The Vees made the announcement regarding him Tuesday afternoon.

Harbinson said he is excited to have Serratore in the fold.

“We are very pleased Matt chose Penticton for the next phase of his hockey development,” said Harbinson. “It is evident the Matt has all the attributes we look for in a player.”

A product of Bemidji, Minn., Serratore joins the Vees after finishing his senior season of high school hockey with the Bemidji Lumberjacks. Last season he led with 21 goals and 31 points in 25 games. In the Section playoffs, Serratore put up four goals in two games helping lead the Lumberjacks to their Section semifinals. In three seasons with the Lumberjacks, Serratore finished with 49 goals and 91 points in 80 regular season games.

He is described as a tenacious player which he showed during the Vees’ recent spring camp.

“Matt did an outstanding job at our recent spring camp,” said Harbinson. “Our entire scouting and coaching staff were impressed with the determination in which Matt approached each and every shift.”

Serratore comes from a hockey family as his father and uncle are head coaches of Division l NCAA programs. His dad coaches Bemidji State University, while his uncle is the coach at Air Force.

The Vees also announced that they welcomed a new assistant trainer and equipment manager in Brendon Kerr. He spent the last three seasons with the Powell River Kings. Prior to working in the BCHL, the Thunder Bay, Ont. native spent six years as the equipment manager of Lake University men’s hockey team.

Fans will get their first opportunity to see the four newest Vees in late August at the teams’ junior prep camp.