It was a season that started in Penticton eight months ago and ended last week on Vancouver Island with a championship victory.
But on Victoria Day, May 22, an official wrap was put on the record-breaking 2022-2023 Penticton Vees season with a city-wide celebration. Victoria Day in Peach City was officially declared ‘Vees Day’ with a party to remember.
The back-to-back Fred Page Cup winners were honoured at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Monday, following the team’s series-clinching 3-1 victory against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Wednesday, May 17.
Due to concerns over rain, the party shifted indoors for a free hotdog barbecue put on by IGA, fan-player meet-and-greets and championship speeches.
Players entered the party by being driven in classic cars, led by captain Frank Djurasevic, who walked through a crowd of people while holding the Fred Page Cup on his way inside the arena.
A number of championship speeches were made at the party, including one from head coach, general manager and president Fred Harbinson, who paid tribute to many of his players who won’t be back in Vees’ uniforms next fall.
The team set a new single-season BCHL winning percentage mark of 935., after posting a 50-3-0-1 record during the 2022-2023 campaign. The Vees didn’t lose a game on home ice for the entire season and playoffs.
Harbinson’s squad also became the first team since the 2011 Vernon Vipers to capture back-to-back BCHL titles.
The Vees did so by completing a four-game sweep of the Bulldogs, just like they did to the Nanaimo Clippers one year earlier.