Vee explodes from slump

Connor Chartier broke out of his slump in a big way against Trail

PENTICTON VEES forward Connor Chartier doesn’t shy from playing near the opponents crease. Chartier snapped a second long goal drought

PENTICTON VEES forward Connor Chartier doesn’t shy from playing near the opponents crease. Chartier snapped a second long goal drought

Connor Chartier turned 21 on Jan. 15, but received a great present two days later.

The former Spokane Chief ended a six-game goal drought by exploding for two goals and five points in a 6-3 win over the Trail Smoke Eaters at Cominco Arena on Jan. 17.

“Definitely a good belated present for sure,” said Chartier, who never put up five points in a game playing in the Western Hockey League. “That’s a high for my junior career.”

Chartier said it was a huge win for the team after losing 4-1 in Merritt the night before.

Chartier played with Lewis Zerter-Gossage, Cody DePourcq, Cam Amantea and Mitch Newsome against the Smoke Eaters. Defenceman Shayne Gwinner set him up for his first goal, while Zerter-Gossage and Newsome connected for his second.

One of the problems in the loss to Merritt was they didn’t go hard to the net enough. That wasn’t the case in Trail.

“He was one of those guys we said went to the net hard,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson. “His first goal, a great second-effort opportunity. Any time a guy gets five points is pretty impressive.”

Chartier, who has scored in four of the 20 games he’s played as a Vee, first had a goal drought of eight games from Dec. 5 to Dec. 19. This latest one started on Jan. 2.

“After the break I kind of came in and I was playing all right. I wasn’t as happy as I wanted to be,” said Chartier, who scored 25 goals in 209 regular season games with the Chiefs. “I didn’t think I was producing enough. Having a night like that felt great.”

Chartier prides himself on playing a strong two-way game and doesn’t stray from that, but he wants to be able to contribute offensively. Things just weren’t going his way. He likes playing in the BCHL, and after not being sure what to expect, has been impressed with the talent.

“I can’t believe, still, how good of a league this is,” he said.

Chartier added the speed impresses him as does the skill of each player.

Harbinson said Chartier was already good before joining the Vees and since then hasn’t had many off nights. Harbinson likes Chartier’s maturity and said the Calgary native brings depth.

“He’s a very smart hockey player, intelligent on the ice, he’s versatile,” said Harbinson. “He’s been able to play in all different situations, from the power play to penalty killing. He has also played both wings.”

“He’s brought leadership, experience, character,” said DePourcq of Chartier, adding it was good to see him have a big night. “He’s been a great guy for us. It’s big to have him.”

Patrick Sexton, who shares co-captain duties with DePourcq, said Chartier’s experience in the WHL is key, especially with the younger players in the dressing room.

“He’s definitely a guy that those guys can lean on and learn from,” he said. “Fit right into our team right away.”

Vees notes: Winger Matthew Serratore is skating on his own and is likely to rejoin his teammates on the ice with a no- contact jersey later this week. Patrick Newell, who was out with an upper body injury for two games, returned to the lineup against the West Kelowna Warriors Tuesday. Miles Gendron, who received a two-game suspension for a blow-to-the-head major against the Centennials, Friday, missed his final game Tuesday.

Vees alumni Joey LaLeggia, who is among the voting candidates for the Hobey Baker Award as the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s best player, was named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference defenceman of the week. LaLeggia, 22, scored two goals and dished out two assists last weekend, helping the Denver University Pioneers capture a two-game sweep of the St. Cloud State University Huskies.  In 20 games LaLeggia has eight goals and 20 points tying him for fifth place in the NCAA in scoring by a rearguard … Another former Vee, Olivier Mantha was selected as rookie of the week for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Mantha stopped 80 of 83 shots on the weekend backstopping the Seawolves’ two victories. The freshman from La Tuque, Qué. matched his career high with 46 saves Saturday night, allowing the Seawolves to escape with a 3-2, overtime win despite being outshot 48-16. With a .928 save percentage during his rookie campaign, Mantha is on pace to eclipse UAA’s single-season record of .921.

 

 

Just Posted

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
UPDATE: Fire above Naramata is an illegal open burn

Smoke is still billowing from the blaze Friday morning

Rob and Anthony are the city’s new parking ambassadors who are sharing information with businesses and the public about the new pay parking. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Penticton hires team to inform people on city’s new pay parking system

The pair will spend at least a month helping businesses and residents navigate new pay parking system

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Letter writer says COVID has created lots of newbie cyclists who don't know rules of cycling. (File photo)
LETTER: Newbie cyclists in Penticton need lessons on rules of the road

Penticton cycling group just received city funding, should give back by offering how-to lessons

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

6 years after a catastrophic earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal gets hit again

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Most Read