The Penticton Vees handed out their annual team awards Monday, May 10, 2021 in a vacant South Okanagan Events Centre after finishing the 2021 pod season with the best record in the BCHL at 18-1-0-1. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)

The Penticton Vees handed out their annual team awards Monday, May 10, 2021 in a vacant South Okanagan Events Centre after finishing the 2021 pod season with the best record in the BCHL at 18-1-0-1. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)

Penticton Vees hand out team awards in an empty South Okangan Events Centre

The Vees concluded the 20-game pod season atop the BCHL standings Sunday night

The Penticton Vees Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club handed out their annual team awards Monday (May 10) night at the South Okanagan Events Centre after completing a near-perfect season.

The club wrapped up a shortened 20-game “pod” season Sunday, May 9 where they played games only against the Cranbrook Bucks and Trail Smoke Eaters in empty South Okanagan Events Centre.

The BCHL’s pod season was announced months prior as a way to get teams playing under the current provincial health restrictions. The Vees went on to dominate in the Penticton pod, finishing the season with the best record in the BCHL at 18-1-0-1.

In a normal year the Vees would have handed out their annual team awards after their final regular season game Sunday night in front of thousands of fans at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

However, this year has been anything but normal. The Vees handed out their annual team awards in an empty South Okanagan Events Centre Monday night and livestreamed the event on YouTube, Facebook Live and Shaw Spotlight.

The 2021 season was unlike any other and presented many unique challenges, coach Fred Harbinson said on Twitter after Sunday night’s win.

“I have had the privilege of coaching many great teams, none of which had to endure what this group was subjected to the last nine months yet they represented our city and team with pride,” Harbinson said in the tweet including the team’s combined record of 31-2-0-1 between the pod season and November’s Okanagan Cup tournament.

In a season unlike any other the Vees opted to name their Most Valuable Player as the entire 2021 team.

Fans were able to cast their votes on the Vees awards online until Sunday night.

Below are each of the winners:

• Tyler Ho – Unsung Hero (sponsored by Lang Vineyards)

• Frank Djurasevic – Most Improved Player (sponsored by Sherwood Signs & Graphics)

• Fin Williams – Best Conditioned Athlete (sponsored by Murray GM)

• Beanie Richter – Robert Skinner Courage Award (sponsored by Canadian Tire)

• Tristan Amonte – Most Inspirational (sponsored by Tim Hortons)

• Jacob Quillan – Most Sportsmanlike (sponsored by Grizzly Excavating)

• Stefano Bottini – Academic Achievement Award (sponsored by Home Hardware)

• Tristan Amonte – Vees on Vees Most Popular Player (sponsored by Kirk Chamberlain)

• Ethan Martini – Fan Favourite (sponsored by Elliott Row 4Her 4 Him)

• Luc Wilson – Leading Scorer (sponsored by Game Time Sports)

• Grayson Arnott – Best Defenseman (sponsored by Penticton Alumni Hockey Club)

• Ryan McGuire – Rookie of the Year (sponsored by BC Hockey Hall of Fame)

• Entire 2021 Penticton Vees – Most Valuable Player (sponsored by Making Cents Bookkeeping)

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