Vees coach mystified by penalty call in loss to Clippers

Vees coach waiting to hear from league about mystery penalty that resulted in winning goal

Vees rookie Brad McClure nets a hattrick against Cowichan Valley Capitals.

Vees rookie Brad McClure nets a hattrick against Cowichan Valley Capitals.

A phantom penalty called against the Penticton Vees prevented them from possibly returning home with four of six points.

Instead, the Vees went 1-1-0-1, losing in double overtime to the Victoria Grizzlies, blanking the Cowichan Valley Capitals 3-0, then lost 4-2 to the Nanaimo Clippers.

Captain Troy Stecher posted the following on Twitter: “Tough one for the boys this weekend, definitely a learning experience moving forward.”

Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson said he felt his team played well. Against the Capitals, they lost the services of forward Louie Nanne, who left the game with an upper body injury following a hit. Against the Clippers, and shortly after Alex Jewell knotted the game at two, rookie Noah Henry was sent to the box for hooking.

“He literally, physically, doesn’t touch anybody,” said Harbinson. “I watched the video and he does not touch a soul. He stands next to the guy in front of the net and the guy gets a shot off and they called a hooking penalty, the official out in the neutral zone, calls the penalty.”

Harbinson is interested to hear from director of officiating Derek Adams to find out what happened. That penalty resulted in David Iacono netting the game-winning goal, while Greg Trichilo added an empty net tally.

The Vees travel to Salmon Arm for a game against the SilverBacks on Friday, then head to West Kelowna for an 11 a.m. matinee. Harbinson has no plans to call up an affiliate player to fill that hole left by Nanne, who is expected to miss the next few weeks.

During the trip Harbinson said he liked the way his group skated and singled out Jewell and Brad McClure for stepping up. McClure provided all the offence in the win against the Capitals.

“I have kind of been snake bitten,” said McClure, adding there has been an adjustment period for him in the league. “It’s a little harder (scoring in the BCHL) than my league (Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League) last year. It will come with hard work.”

Ice chips: The Vees power play scored once on 13 tries during their three-game Island roadtrip, while the penalty kill allowed three goals on 11 chances…the Vees only allowed two even-strength goals…Victoria had the largest crowd with the Vees in town playing in front of 1,323 fans. Nanaimo had the smallest at  914.