Mark your calendars, the Penticton Vees open their 2016-17 British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) season on Sept. 10.
Penticton will head up to the Cariboo to open the schedule, as they pay a visit to the Prince George Spruce Kings on Sept. 10. The Vees will be spending quite a bit of time on the bus in September, as their first seven games are all on the road.
The Vees make a trip down to the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island the following weekend, making stops in Powell River, Alberni Valley and Cowichan Valley, Sept. 16 to 18. Then it’s a trip to the Fraser Valley for the annual BCHL Bauer Showcase in Chilliwack, where the Vees play Langley and Prince George, on Sept. 22 and 23. The road odyssey ends with a game against the RBC Cup champion West Kelowna Warriors at Royal LePage Place on Sept. 30.
Penticton opens the doors at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Oct. 1 when they face the Trail Smoke Eaters. The Vees have 18 prime nights at home this season, six Friday games, 12 on Saturdays and nine “Wicked Wednesday” games, and they also have one Sunday matinee. Friday and Wednesday games will be at 7 p.m. and Saturdays will once again be 6 p.m. face-offs.
Once again it’s a 58-game schedule consisting of 28 home and 28 road games. It’s a full interlocking schedule, meaning the Vees play the other 16 BCHL teams at least twice, once at home and once on the road.
The Vees wrap up the regular season Feb. 24 in Chilliwack. Penticton’s last game before the Christmas break is Dec. 17 in Salmon Arm, before returning to action Dec. 30 against Merritt at the SOEC. Their final home game of the regular season is Feb. 19 against Victoria; that’s a 2 p.m. face-off.
Vernon makes their first visit to the SOEC on Nov. 11, West Kelowna on Jan. 11, Salmon Arm Dec. 2 and Merritt on Oct. 7. The two-time defending Island Division Champion Nanaimo Clippers pay a visit on Oct. 15 and last season’s Fred Page Cup finalist, the Chiefs, come on Nov. 26.