Benik a driving force for the Vees

Joey Benik continues to play strong for Vees in quest of national championship

Penticton Vees forward Joey Benik is having a strong playoff performance

Penticton Vees forward Joey Benik is having a strong playoff performance

When Joey Benik fanned on an open net chance in Game 2 of the BCHL championship, it’s one of the few times he didn’t look that good.

Benik, who will suit up for the St. Cloud State Huskies next fall, looked up in disbelief. Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson couldn’t believe it, either. Fortunately for Benik and the Vees it didn’t come back to haunt them as they defeated the Powell River Kings 2-1 and took a 2-0 series lead into the Sunshine Coast.

“That’s tough,” said Benik after the game as the puck slid away from the back of  his blade. “The ice is chippy and there’s lots of snow.”

The other reason Benik wasn’t a goat is because he erased the Kings’ 1-0 lead when his wrist shot deflected off Sean Maguire’s glove and in midway through the second period.

“I used a guy as a screen,” said Benik, talking about the play.

Benik has felt good about his play this season, which began to take off at Christmas break. He credited his linemates Bryce Gervais and Steven Fogarty for their strong play.

“The chemistry just started to go,” he said. “We’ve been on fire. We are matching the offence of the top line and shutting down opponents. It’s great.”

After being knocked out in the second round of the playoffs by the Salmon Arm SilverBacks, Benik returned with a hunger to go deeper in the playoffs. The Andover, Minn. resident was named an assistant captain at the end of training camp as he impressed Harbinson. Benik leads the Vees with eight goals in 13 games and wants to win a national championship. Harbinson said Benik has had a great second season and has carried it into the playoffs. Harbinson described Benik as a top performer in all aspects.

“He’s a big reason why we are in the finals,” said Harbinson. “He has been consistent all year. Coming back, he improved his strength and speed. His goal the last game was from creating a turnover and then he breaks away.”

Harbinson also said the five-foot-11, 170-pound forward is taking advantage of opportunities when he’s in position for a shot. He sees a competitive kid that wants to win extremely bad.

“He leads by example,” added Harbinson.

With practices being shorter during the playoffs, Benik focuses on touching up his skills and keeping his feet moving. He and his linemates are focused on being strong in the defensive zone. If they do that well, Benik knows they can get the puck and things will happen.

Ice chips: Vees goalie Chad Katunar is the BCHL’s Player of the Week ending April 8. Katunar collected three wins, including the first two in the BCHL championship for the Fred Page Cup. Katunar stopped 99 of 103 shots and had a .961 save percentage. The NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its final rankings in advance of the 2012 Entry Draft and seven BCHL players are included. Among the seven is Victoria Grizzlies/Penticton Vees forward Wade Murphy at 142.

 

 

Just Posted

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read