Vees ready for Teddy Toss

The Penticton Vees look for their 23rd straight win of the season when Coquitlam visits on Wednesday

Penticton Vees captain Tyson Jost has his arms full of stuffed toys during practice Monday. The BC Hockey League team will host it's annual Teddy Bear toss night Wednesday (Nov. 18) during the game against the visiting Coquitlam Express. Fans are asked to bring a stuffed toy to throw on the ice after the Vee's first goal. The toys will go to the Salvation to be distributed to local kids at Christmas.

Penticton Vees captain Tyson Jost has his arms full of stuffed toys during practice Monday. The BC Hockey League team will host it's annual Teddy Bear toss night Wednesday (Nov. 18) during the game against the visiting Coquitlam Express. Fans are asked to bring a stuffed toy to throw on the ice after the Vee's first goal. The toys will go to the Salvation to be distributed to local kids at Christmas.

Demico Hannoun has been part of a few Teddy Bear Toss games in the BCHL.

The Penticton Vees forward has even been fortunate enough to have scored the goal to send plush toys flying onto the ice surface.

“It was just a great experience,” laughed Hannoun. “It’s hard to think of a great celebration because you’re so fired up you scored it. It’s always good to get that goal.”

The North Delta product said the event is a great initiative to give back to kids. The only thing is it slows momentum after getting the goal, he said.

“It takes a while to pick up all those teddies,” said Hannoun. “It’s good for the kids.”

Hannoun would love to make it rain teddies in the South Okanagan Events Centre Wednesday when the Vees host the Coquitlam Express, but his money is on captain Tyson Jost, who leads the team and the BCHL in goals with 21 in 23 games. Hannoun said the players will pick who they think will score the goal during their pre-game preparations.

The Vees will be looking to earn their 23rd straight win of the season against the Express, who are 9-10-1-2 and are fourth in the Mainland Division. The Express have won their last two games, 7-5 over Langley and a 4-3 overtime victory against the Victoria Grizzlies.

“Yeah, I think it’s definitely a game the guys want to win,” said Fabbro, when asked about the Teddy Bear Toss. “It’s just another game. We’ve been kind of on a roll lately, but that’s because we have been focused and ready to play every game. I don’t see why a teddy bear toss changes our mentality. It’s going to be an exciting game and the crowd and everybody should be in it, but we’re going out there looking to get two points.”

Fabbro, ranked 13th by the International Scouting Services for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, is excited to play the Express as he will be facing friends like leading scorer Colton Kerfoot, who has 29 points in 22 games, Jackson Cressey, second in Express scoring with 25 points in 17 games, as well as Owen Stout and Keegan Jones.

“It brings a competitive edge out there. I’ve known them for a while,” said Fabbro. “They are just the same, competitive and hard working. It should be a fun game.”

Fabbro said the Express’ record doesn’t reflect how good a team they are. He suggested the Vees take a playoff-like approach against them.

The Vees extended their win streak to 22 games over the weekend with victories, 3-1 in West Kelowna over the Warriors and 4-3 at home against the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Scoring for the Vees in West Kelowna were Owen Sillinger, Tyson Jost and Easton Brodzinski. Anthony Brodeur made 45 saves. Against the Capitals, Jost led with two goals, including the winner, while David Eccles and Mitchell Brooks scored once.

“We prevailed and played good Vees hockey,” said Jost, who got the crowd of 2,564 in a frenzy when he popped the winner. “Cowichan Valley is a great team.”

Jost extended his point streak to 11 games, while Fabbro picked up an assist to bump his to 15 games. The Vees improved their home record to 11-0 and they are 5-0 against the Island Division.

The Vees were without defenceman Gabe Bast and Seamus Donohue to injury, while Domenic Masellis served the first of a two-game suspension for a head shot against the West Kelowna Warriors on Friday. The Vees were also without forward Scott Conway who was on a school visit.