Speedway coach very happy with players’ accomplishment

Speedway Vees finish second during Atom Development tournament

Penticton Vees atom player Cody Thompson (left) celebrates his second goal of the game in the B division gold medal final at Memorial Arena on Sunday against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Vees lost 6-4.

Penticton Vees atom player Cody Thompson (left) celebrates his second goal of the game in the B division gold medal final at Memorial Arena on Sunday against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Vees lost 6-4.

Earning silver in a 6-4 loss to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks didn’t diminish what the Penticton Speedway Vees accomplished.

It was the host team’s lone loss in their Atom Development tournament in the B Division.

“We were very proud of the kids,” said Vees coach Earl Konyi, adding that Salmon Arm is a Tier 1 team, while they are Tier 2.

The Vees were led offensively by Cody Thompson, who scored twice, while Brendan Lobb and Josh Roy scored the other goals. Assists went to Owen Madsen, Carter Milton, Roy and Evan Parachoniak.

The Vees opened with wins against the Winfield Bruins, Ridge Meadows Rustlers and Summerland Jets. Konyi said their win over the Rustlers was their best game.

“They played really well,” he said. “Coastal teams are quite strong usually.”

Konyi said the group played competitively, but also had fun. At the end, they were sporting smiles and having a good time.

“Just the accomplishment of getting where they did was key,” said Konyi.

During the weekend the Vees improved and gelled as a group. They stuck up for each other and didn’t give up. They also received strong goaltending from Ethan Konyi and Ethan Askey.

The Penticton Game Time Sports Vees finished sixth in the C Division after losing 6-5 in double overtime to Salmon Arm. The Vees trailed 2-1 after the first period, 3-1 after two, then scored four goals in the third period to force overtime. The winner was scored at 4:30. Scoring for the Vees was William Martineau with three, Michael Pugachev and Lucca Peever. Assists went to Max Coburn, Connor Seeley and Martineau. Find full story at www.pentictonwesternnews.com/sports.

“Salmon Arm was a terrific match up for our team and there were a number of momentum swings during the game,” said Vees coach Mike Seeley.

“There was lots of drama and excitement for both the players and parents in the stands. The arena was packed for the overtime.”

Finishing the tournament with one win in four games, Seeley said his team played well. What stood out to Seeley were the many firsts accomplished by the players, including a tic-tac-toe passing play in the final game, a big toe save to keep the team in a game, and a number of kids playing new positions for the first time.

“The kids really started working together and began seeing their efforts in practice being rewarded with some great plays,” he said. “The kids had a blast and were fortunate to be part of such a well organized and thought out atom development hockey tournament as commented on by many of the coaches I talked to over the weekend.”