Powell Connor of the Chilliwack Chiefs shoves Ryan Sandelin of the Penticton Vees after the Vees scored during their game in September. Jenna Hauck/Black Press

Penticton Vees second line a trifecta of talent

Barnes, Sillinger, Sandelin making a case to stick together for Penticton Vees

Point production, tenacity and hardwork, the Penticton Vees second line is making it tough for their boss to find a reason why they shouldn’t stay together.

The line of Jack Barnes, Owen Sillinger and Ryan Sandelin are doing just what they need to, put up points. That includes Sillinger’s game winning marker against the top BCHL team, the Trail Smoke Eaters, (with assist to Sandelin), in the Vees 2-1 win on Wednesday night.

Related: Vees defeat BCHL’s top team

“They all bring a little bit of a different game and they all play a great two-way game. Owen is a smart player. Barnes works hard and Sandelin is not afraid to get in front of the net on power play. It is a good mix. We had so many changes to our lineup the first 23 games that right now these three are making a case for sticking,” said Vees head coach Fred Harbinson.

It’s a line combination that came together out of necessity and is still together because of consistency. Tinkering started at the beginning of the season because of injuries and players away at Hockey Canada events. Sillinger has seen his fair share of different teammates line up on his wings — Chris Klack (currently out with an injury), Ben Allen, Taylor Ward, Cassidy Bowes and Grant Cruikshank to name a few. This currently alignment of rookies beside the old guy Sillinger, if you consider 21 to be old.

Related: Sillinger brothers take hockey from the street to BCHL

Harbinson said the success of the line is that they are responsible with the puck. Sillinger added being fast in the neutral zone and physical on the forecheck has been key.

“I think a big part right now is playing with Ryan Sandelin and Jack Barnes. I think we are really working well together and I think we have developed a certain chemistry and we just have to keep going,” said Vees captain Sillinger.

The real test to their longevity as linemates will happen this weekend. After a much-needed win against Trail on Wednesday, the Vees have a pair of back-to-back home games at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The Salmon Arm Silverbacks visit on Friday and on Saturday a team the Vees and their fans got all too-familiar with last season — the Chilliwack Chiefs. Albeit, the Chiefs are a much different looking team than the one that took the Vees to Game 7 in the Fred Page Cup, and lost.

Nevertheless, a rivalry has built up and at this crucial moment in the season no team is taken lightly. Especially when the Wenatchee Wild, one point ahead of the Vees for third place in the Interior Division, also play those teams this weekend. Then the Vernon Vipers, second place in the division, face the West Kelowna Warriors, fifth and two points back of the Vees.

“One team loses and the others keep climbing. It is a very tight race in our division and we all sit comparatively,” said Harbinson. “I don’t care who we are playing, bottom line is we have to keep pace and not give any points away.”


Powell Connor of the Chilliwack Chiefs shoves Ryan Sandelin of the Penticton Vees after the Vees scored during their game in September. Jenna Hauck/Black Press

Just Posted

Collaborative approach to community safety

Andrew Jakubeit is the Mayor of Penticton

Work continues to deal with flooding

Increased efforts to mitigate flooding at Sportsmens Bowl and downstream

Penticton sign gets an upgrade

Did someone forget how to spell Penticton?

Reel Reviews: Parlour games or video games

We say, “Rampage is silly fun and Truth or Dare is just silly”

Okanagan-Similkameen freshet looms large: district

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says property owners have window to prepare for flooding

Look back to simpler summers

Rotary honourees reminisce about South Okanagan summers

First West signs on to gender parity

First West and Valley First sign up with Minerva pledge

Low fog creates stunning views near Sicamous

Motorists on the highway between Salmon Arm and Sicamous were treated to spectacular scenery.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

Most Read