Snakes will be feisty opponents for Vees

The Penticton Vees are anxious to play the Vernon Vipers and add to the rivalry

PENTICTON VEES forward Mitch Newsome

The BCHL’s Interior Division final pits its best, the ranked Penticton Vees against the Vernon Vipers starting Saturday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Ranked sixth among 129 Canadian Junior A Hockey League teams, the Vees are jacked up to face the Vipers and add to their historic rivalry. For Dakota Conroy, who the Vees picked up earlier this season for Liam Finlay, it is a first-time experience and he is anxious to get to work.

“I think it’s time this year that we just got to strap on the boots and get to work,” said Conroy, who has been told about the many battles between the teams.

Conroy, who led the Vees with three goals and six points in five games against the West Kelowna Warriors in the BCHL’s first round, said that’s all he hears about.

“The fans and everyone is excited about us playing Vernon,” he said.

To have success against the Vipers, who they defeated in six of seven games matchups during the regular season, Conroy said they need to stick to what they do best —  keep their feet moving, transition well, put the puck on net and crash the goal.

“Most of our goals were scored within 10 feet of the net,” said Conroy.

Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson used part of the week to focus on how the Vipers play, adding that they have small intricacies.

“Play a team seven times in the regular season, you have a pretty good indication of who they are and how they play,” said Harbinson.

“They are a really hard-working team,” said Vees goalie Hunter Miska, adding that each game was decided by one or two goals.

Miska is aware of their big Texas shooter  Thomas Aldsworth who pocketed 37 snipes this season.

“He’s got a pretty good one-timer on their power play. He’s one of their key guys,” said Miska. “They have a really strong offensive group. A lot of hard shots. I just have to control my rebounds and play my game.”

Finlay spent 10 games with the Vees before joining the Vipers and led them with 64 regular season points, provided insight on the Vees to the Vernon Morning Star.

“They’re a great team and it’s a great rivalry,” said Finlay, who has two goals and four points in the playoffs.

“We got a few bounces our way and I think we pressured them more than we did previous games and Danny (goalie Todosychuk) played extremely well for us that game.”

Finlay on Miska: “He’s really acrobatic so it’s tough to beat him anywhere, but I think we just got to get traffic and get in front of him.”

Viper captain Riley Guenther emphasized the importance of playing a physical game and being aggressive.

“They’re real skilled so we can’t let them get time and space because they’ll take advantage of it,” he said. “We’re gonna have to push the pace on them and make it a hard game for them.”

Vees notes: It’s the 11th straight season in which the Vees have made it past the first round of the BCHL playoffs. Mark MacMillan, who played one season with the Vees, is a finalist for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference defensive forward of the year award. MacMillan was tied for the conference lead in scoring with 13 despite missing the final two games to injury. He is tied for the league lead with two short-handed goals. Joey LaLeggia, a two-time NCHC Player of the Month, is a finalist for player of the year. He finished second in the NCHC scoring race with 29 points in 23 conference games on 12 goals and 17 assists, while posting a

plus-nine rating.

 

 

Just Posted

Ash falling in the Okanagan

Reports on social media of ashes on cars around the Okanagan

Highway 3A pot plant pulls application

A controversial cannabis production facility has withdrawn an application

Snowy Mountain fire travelling away from communities

The Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos remains at 13,359 hectares in size

Man dies in Penticton RCMP custody

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

Plethora of bike parts found at problem property

Penticton bylaw said parts for upwards of 80 bicycles uncovered at 377 Winnipeg Street

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former Shuswap optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Kelowna developer warns home buyers to look at more than the price tag

Kelowna developer Jeffrey Anderson wants first-time homeowners to look at more than the price tag.

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Most Read