It’s not just the Penticton Vees’ near-perfect record that sits atop the B.C. Hockey League.
Team forwards Bradly Nadeau, Josh Nadeau and Aydar Suniev entered their 13-day Christmas break last weekend as the league’s top-three scorers, respectively. The trio has combined for 155 points during the team’s 29 games this season.
Penticton last played on Dec. 17 against the West Kelowna Warriors, defeating their rivals to the north by a margin of 6-1 and improving their first-place record to 27-2-0-0.
If defending their championship status was a test, then the Vees are passing with flying colours. Dating back to the start of last season’s Fred Page Cup-winning run, Penticton has won 43 out of its last 46 games, including a 253-day undefeated run that featured a 24-game streak to start this season.
Never in the history of the more-than-50-year-old franchise had the Vees started a campaign with as many consecutive victories.
Along with their winning ways, the Vees’ powerplay (35.8 per cent) and goal differential (+108) rank No. 1 in BCHL. The teams tied for the second-best goal differentials in the league are the Nanaimo Clippers and Surrey Eagles (+40).
Penticton returns from its Christmas break on Dec. 30, when they host the aforementioned Warriors at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
In January, the defending Fred Page Cup champions will only play once at home when the Cowichan Valley Capitals make a rare visit to the South Okanagan Event Centre on Jan. 14.
Penticton’s 54 points at the Christmas break is good enough to hold a 15-point cushion over the Cranbrook Bucks for first place in the BCHL’s Interior Division.
After their showdown with the Capitals, the Vees will host the 60th-anniversary BCHL All-Star Game at Penticton’s new outdoor skating rink next to city hall on Jan. 21.