Ten straight W’s for Vees

Canada's No.2 ranked junior A team ready to take on Surrey Eagles

Salmon Arm's

Salmon Arm's

An 11-2 drubbing of the Surrey Eagles to start the BCHL season is a distant memory for the Penticton Vees.

“We have already talked with our group. That game is way in the past,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson. “If we go in thinking it’s going to be an easy game, we will find ourselves on the wrong end of it in a hurry.”

The Eagles (3-8-0-3) come to the South Okanagan Events Centre Wednesday for the first of their home-and-home series with the Vees, on a three-game skid. Take away their 8-2 loss against Nanaimo on Sunday, the Eagles have been involved in three one-goal games in their last four. One of them an overtime win against the Langley Rivermen.

“They have had a lot of good games, a lot of tight games,” said Harbinson. “They have great goaltending.”

Offensively, the Eagles have Ben Vikich, Ty Westgard and Joseph Drapluk tied for the team lead with five goals, accounting for nearly 50 per cent of the scoring. Chase McMurphy and Darius Davidson are close behind with four each.

Wednesday’s game will be the first of seven for the Vees without rookies Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro. They are playing in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia-Lambton, Ont., from Oct. 31 to Nov. 8 with Fabbro on Canada Team Red and Jost on Canada Team White.


Vees co-captain Cody DePourcq returned to the lineup last weekend after being out with an upper body injury that forced him to miss five games. Harbinson said the Vees other co-captain Patty Sexton is close to returning as he began skating on Monday and may be back in the lineup later in the week. In the meantime, the Vees have a handful of affiliate players skating and the coaching staff will determine which players to use and which games they will play.

“We’re going to be ready to go,” said Harbinson. “The next two weeks are going to be a lot of hockey. A lot of tough games.”

Harbinson agreed that with Jost and Fabbro away, that it gives other players a chance to step up.

The Vees are on a 10-game winning streak, which includes recent victories in Prince George (3-2 in overtime), 1-0 over Vernon and 3-1 in Salmon Arm on Sunday. The Vees play bumped their standing in the Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings from No. 3 to two.

“I think we have been competing extremely hard. Playing at a fast pace,” said Harbinson. “Last week what I was really surprised with was how much energy our guys showed in the third game in four days. With all the travel (included a trip to Prince George). We need that energy level again tomorrow (Wednesday) night.”

In Salmon Arm on Sunday, Harbinson said from the opening period his team was “pretty dominating.”

Harbinson added that the last three games were character wins.

“Strong performance at home by the players against Vernon,” he said.

Amongst the excitement of a gritty win over the Vipers, Harbinson earned his 300th career win with the Vees. He answered in typical fashion when asked about the milestone. Brushing off any accolades, Harbinson turned the attention to the players and Vees organization.

“It’s hard to believe I have been here for seven seasons. I never stayed anywhere longer than five years prior to coming here,” said Harbinson, who is the all-time wins leader among Penticton junior A coaches. “When you hit a milestone like this, it is about more than one person. It is the organization, the players and that is why I enjoy coaching here.”

Vees notes: Twenty-year-old forward Dakota Conroy’s BCHL-CHL list rights and future considerations were acquired from the Vernon Vipers for forward Liam Finlay on Oct. 28. Conroy has played 212 games in the Western Hockey League for the Brandon Wheat Kings, Victoria Royals and Prince Albert Raiders collecting 137 points, including eight games this season with the Raiders according to Eliteprospects.com. The Edmonton, Alta., native had a goal and an assist. In 10 games with the Vees this season, Finlay had a goal and four assists … Former Vee and current University of North Dakota sophomore defenceman Troy Stecher has been named National Collegiate Hockey Conference Defenceman of the Week after his four-point series against Providence last weekend, the university announced Monday. Stecher collected two assists in each game against the fifth-ranked Friars, helping lead UND to a 6-1 win on Friday and a 2-2 overtime tie on Saturday. Stecher also keyed a UND penalty killing unit that went 8-for-8 on Friday and 14-for-15 on the weekend. In six games this season, Stecher is tied for the team lead in assists with six and plus/minus (plus-4).


Just Posted

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton reviewing ideas on how to make the city’s north gateway more vibrant

The city has plans to redevelop the area into a welcoming and attractive entrance

A portion of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail near Naramata will be closed temporarily for upgrade work, including paving. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Upgrades plannned for trail near Naramata

Surface improvement work will mean temporary trail closure

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Skaha Bluffs climbing spots. (Monique Tamminga)
New parking lot and picnic area coming to Penticton’s Skaha Bluffs

The city will turn the access point at Crow Place into a parking and picnic area

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact they recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Phil McLachlan/(Black Press Media
Man shot at Kamloops shopping centre

The man is believed to be in stable condition

The location of the vehicle incident near Chase that currently has Highway 1 closed in both directions, according to DriveBC. (Black Press staff)
Hwy 1 closed in both directions east of Chase due to vehicle incident

Detour is in effect and drivers are encouraged to reroute to Highway 97 or Highway 97B

Scooters lined up for an educational event in Stuart Park on Wednesday, June 16. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Free e-scooter safety training in Kelowna

Shared e-scooter operators collaborate to educate riders

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Most Read