Ready for Brooks

Vees and Bandits clash starts Friday for the Doyle Cup championship

Penticton Vees athletic trainer and equipment manager Geoff Carter found room for the cowbell. That was just as important to bring as food and equipment.

Penticton Vees athletic trainer and equipment manager Geoff Carter found room for the cowbell. That was just as important to bring as food and equipment.

When the Penticton Vees line up for the opening faceoff at Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks, Alta., they might see themselves.

The big difference will be the colour of the jerseys that represent the Bandits during their tilt in the 2012 Doyle Cup championship.

Vees assistant coach Michael Hengen described the Bandits as a high-flying team.

“They’re going to come and try to make plays, especially off the rush,” said Hengen, filling in for Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson during the Vees online show, Coach’s Corner. “We get back to playing Vees hockey.”

Hengen said, “as long as we can figure out how to beat ourselves I think we will be OK.”

Both teams possess high-octane offences and good defence. They both also have goaltending, though the Vees might have the upper hand. While the Bandits have gone with Jan Obernesser, the Vees were forced to go with backup Chad Katunar to fill in for the injured Michael Garteig. He is now healthy. Should Katunar falter, the Vees can go back to their No. 1.

“They have a younger coach over there and he’s teaching an offensive style game,” said Hengen, a former defenceman who played for the Vees in the Doyle Cup in 2008. “They are scoring some nice goals. We’re going to match up great with them. Once that puck drops it’s special how the hockey ramps up.”

After sweeping the Powell River Kings, Vees captain Logan Johnston said the team had a good week of practice and time off. Now they’re excited to get going. This is Johnston’s second time in the Doyle Cup. He was an affiliate player with the Vees in ‘08.

“It’s really exciting. I didn’t get to play last time at all,” he said. “This year is exciting to get another crack at it.”

“It’s going to be fun, playing a team that we haven’t played before,” said Vees forward Bryce Gervais.

With Brooks 488 kilometres southwest of Gervais’ hometown of Battleford, Sask., he will have his own cheering section.

“I think there are 27 convoying up from Alberta and Saskatchewan,” said Gervais. “It will be pretty cool. It’s very exciting. Most of them have never seen me play junior A hockey before. It’s a treat for them too.”

Heading into the Doyle Cup, Gervais has 30 games of playoff experience with the Vees and Salmon Arm SilverBacks. The former Prince Albert Minto said what he’s learned about the playoffs is that anything can happen.

“You can lose a 3-0 lead,” he said. “We found ways to win and that’s what winning hockey teams do.”

Bandits coach Ryan Papaioannou said they’re excited for the series.

“It’s always interesting going against a team with the season the Vees had,” he said. “It excites you for the prospect of beating them. It’s a real good challenge and good team to play against.”

While the 27-year-old agreed there are similarities between the two, he added there are differences.

“We will bring a different game then they expect,” he said without divulging more.

Another thing the two teams share is the excitement the fans have been caught up in.

“It’s something new,” said Papaioannou, who has helped guide the Bandits to its first Doyle Cup championship appearance in four years as coach. “People have taken pictures with the Enerflex Cup. They are looking forward to seeing the storybook team that is the Vees.”

When asked how many games the series may go, Papaioannou’s response was four, five, six or seven.

Ice chips: Should the Vees win the Doyle Cup, the history of that trophy will come full circle. The trophy was donated by Penticton businessman Pete Doyle and his family in 1985. The Penticton Knights were the first team to win it. Penticton could be the last one to win it as this is last year for the B.C./Alberta clash. Next year the playoff format changes with the Western Canada Cup, with the champion of the four western champions. Johnston was named the BCHL Player of the Week ending April 15. The Vees captain assisted on the Vees first goal in their comeback win in Game 3 against Powell River and then set up two others, including the game-winner, in Game 4.

 

Just Posted

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read