Penticton Vees captain Owen Sillinger during the playoffs with Coquitlam. Sillinger earned the BC Hockey League player of the month honours for his efforts in February. Mark Brett/Western News

Vees looking ahead to round two of BCHL playoffs

Penticton Vees now prepare for second round action against the Trail Smoke Eaters

Penticton Vees are due for some rest and recovery after sweeping their first-round B.C. Hockey League playoff opponent, the Coquitlam Express, this week.

Good news on the home front is what was thought to be a serious injury to Nicky Leivermann in the second period of Tuesday’s game in Coquitlam was not as bad as first thought.

The Penticton defencemen was pushed from behind and crashed head first into the boards. He was eventually stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital.

“There’s 10 days between when Leivermann got hurt and when our next game is so I think there will be a good chance he will be ready for that game,” said head coach and GM Fred Harbinson, Thursday, adding that injured Vee Ryan Sandelin is also close to returning.

The Vees will host the Trail Smoke Eaters, who dispatched the West Kelowna Warriors in four games, on March 16 and 17.

According to Harbinson, Wednesday’s 2-1 win to clinch the series in Coquitlam was somewhat of a relief.

“Yeah, it’s nice to put that one behind us,” he said. “It’s a tough series to play. It’s a bit of a trap in trying to be perfect but it’s impossible to be perfect. Everybody expects you to blow the team out of the water, and it’s going to be easy, but that’s not always the case.”

There were two blowouts in the series, 9-2 and 7-2, that were bookended by a pair of 2-1 home and away victories.

“So to me there were a couple of good things to come away from it with. One was we had to play in a desperate situation in game one where a team puts us on our heels and we have to find a way to win,” said Harbinson.

Related:Penticton Vees looking to sweep Coquitlam Express

Four Interior Division teams swept their series, Wenatchee Wild knocked off the Merritt Centennials and the Vernon Vipers toppled the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

“Really, it’s a flip of the coin for all four matchups so it’s going to be all about doing all the little extra stuff making the right play at the right time,” said Harbinson. “Wenatchee and Trail, when they have all their guys, which they do now, are probably the most powerfully offensive teams in the league, and Trail is going to be firing on all cylinders, and we’re going to have to be ready.”

The other good news for the Vees coming out of Coquitlam was learning team captain Owen Sillinger was the BCHL player of the month for February.

In all 12 games he played that month, the 5’10” Regina, Sask. native scored nine goals and added 12 assists to help the team to a 9-2-1-0 record.

The honour was celebrated by the team, especially after being shutout in the individual league awards announced at the end of the regular season.

“It’s well deserved,” said Harbinson about Sillinger’s selection. “He does so much for our program on and off the ice, definitely a nice accolade for him.”

The March 16 game at the South Okanagan Events Centre goes at 7 p.m. and the Saturday match begins at 6 p.m.

Just Posted

‘Salt in the wound’: Roadblocks for Penticton-area residents selling home

Residents say property managers holding up sale of Penticton-area mobile home shortly after eviction

National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrated

South Okanagan communities celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day with special events

City of Penticton park policy changes approved

The policy includes engagement with the community

Okanagan Medicinal Cannabis Conference coming to Penticton

A variety of topics presented by certified herbalists and a medical doctor

Penticton Indian Band ‘knocking on doors’ of feds for addictions relief

Penticton Indian Band will also focus on community efforts to alleviate overdose crisis locally

Unfiltered: IPAs explained with Cannery Brewing brewmaster

Checking out the new IPA created by Penticton brewery Cannery Brewing Company

Humboldt survivors to attend NHL Awards

Players say it’s a blessing to be back together again

Justice minister: marijuana still illegal for now

Driving under the influence of drugs has always been — and will remain — against the law

Crown recommends 150-years for Quebec mosque shooter

Crown lawyers say Alexandre Bissonnette deserves to receive the longest sentence in Canadian history

192 missing after ferry sinks in Indonesia

Drivers are searching a Indonesian lake after a ferry sank earlier this week

No clear plan yet on how to reunite parents with children

A lawyer has documented more than 300 cases of adults who have been separated from a child

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Most Read