Shane Allan watches the play during the Penticton Vees scrimmage game with the Anaheim junior Ducks in the opening week of the Vees’ training camp last week. Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

Vees players prove quick learners

Penticton Vees coach happy with players after first week of B.C. Hockey League training camp

Penticton Vees co-captain Owen Sillinger believes this year’s team can be as good as last year’s.

Starting the second week of camp, Sillinger liked what he saw last week and talked about what stood out.

“I would say our skill. Just the way that we snap the puck around,” said Sillinger. “The way we finish around the net. It’s on another level already.”

Sillinger likes the Vees’ goaltending with returnee Nolan Hildebrand and Adam Scheel, who is committed to the University of North Dakota. He said the defence is really skilled, along with the forward group, adding they may be smaller up front, but will be fast, enabling them to take advantage of turnovers.

“We have a lot of skilled players here and a lot of hard workers and I’m excited for the regular season to start,” he said.

Missing from camp are rookie Massimo Rizzo and co-captain Grant Cruikshank. Vees head coach-general manager Fred Harbinson said both are expected to miss the start of the regular season with injuries, but hopes they will be available a couple of weeks after.

Harbinson is happy with what he has seen from the players. The group assembled has been able to learn what the coaching staff is teaching quickly. The coaches have thrown a lot of new things at the players.

“For the veterans, they kind of remember how we want to do things,” said Harbinson. “For the other guys they have been really helping them through it. It was a real positive start.”

The coaching staff continues to learn about the players and how they interact with each other. They also have been establishing how they want the players to live in the city, not just how they should behave on the ice. Last week the Vees were joined by the Anaheim junior Ducks, which gave them a chance to see what the BCHL and Penticton is like. Harbinson liked what he saw and said there is always a possibility to recruit a Ducks player in the future, but Harbinson said they have also helped the players get recruited by other junior teams.

“They are running a really reputable program there,” said Harbinson of coach August Aiken and former Vee TJ Miller. “It helps their guys. If we can help their program, it helps us. Allows us to have bigger numbers here to run scrimmages during camp. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

As the Vees get ready to host West Kelowna Wednesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre at 7 p.m., then head to Brooks, Alta., to take on the Bandits during the long weekend, work gets going on implementing structure and systems. It is about getting the players to understand how the team plays, including faceoff and situational play. The hope is over the next couple of months the system becomes instinctual for the players.

Just Posted

Over 60 cats and kittens surrendered to the South Okanagan-Similkameen SPCA

The surrender is part of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation with BC SPCA Special Constable

Man sentenced for fatal Christmas Eve collision near Penticton

Crown said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that man was impaired

South Okanagan Indo-Canadian pledge for hospital expansion recieves large boost

Jaswinder Garib has donated $30,000 to the $500,000 pledge

COLUMN: From pot to policing

I am sure the cannabis legalization on Oct 17 will be the number one issue on everyone’s minds

LocoLanding flowers bring joy to others in Penticton

LocoLanding Amusement Park sends flowers to Penticton residents

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Who’s running in Penticton’s election?

Candidates for the Penticton municipal and school board election

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

High spirits after first week of classes at Shuswap’s outdoor school

South Canoe School is taking student learning into the great outdoors

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

Symphony giants launch 59th Okanagan Symphony Orchestra season

Concerts in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon Sept. 21-23

New political party holds an informational session in Vernon

Maxime Bernier’s The People’s Party of Canada draws about 2o interested patrons to Vernon pub.

Most Read