Vees coaching staff impressed with team play

The 2012-13 version of the Penticton Vees are showing that you don’t have to obliterate teams to win.

The 2012-13 version of the Penticton Vees are showing that you don’t have to obliterate teams to win.

Vees fans grew accustomed to that in 2011-12 as they worked their way to a national championship season that included a Canadian Junior Hockey League record 42-straight wins.

Heading into this weekend’s action against the West Kelowna Warriors on Friday and the visiting Victoria Grizzlies on Saturday, the Vees lead the Interior Conference with a 12-2-0-1 record. That is also good for first overall in the BCHL. Last year after 15 games, the Vees were 11-3-0-1.

Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson is more than happy where his team is.

The difference is coming from both ends of the ice. Last year’s Vees scored 76 goals in 15 games, for an average of 5.07. This year, the Vees have burned goalies 54 times, for an average of 3.6.

“We might not be as flashy,” said Harbinson, “but we compete really hard, work hard and we can skate. When we’re not turning pucks over in the neutral zone and using our feet we can play with the best.”

The Vees have allowed just 32 goals for an average of 2.13, while last season they allowed 46, an average of 3.07. Harbinson said the tandem of Chad Katunar and Nic Renyard have been strong. Defence has also been tough as Harbinson said they haven’t spent a lot of time in their end. They have only been outshot twice, by Nanaimo and Prince George, and were tied in shots once.

When it comes to which team hits the scoreboard first, the Vees have done it against their opponents six times. They have also led six times after one period and eight times after two. They have been tied three times following two periods of action. The most goals the Vees have given up in a game is three, four times this season.

The Warriors (4-1-0-2) and Grizzlies (5-3-0) on the road will be put to the test against the Vees, who have won all four homes games at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Scoring league-wide is down from last year. To calculate the totals this year to last, the Vees’ 15-game mark was used. Four fewer games have been played league-wide compared to last year. Last season 821 goals were scored in 234 BCHL games compared to 685 in 230 games. The average of 3.5 goals per game last season is down to 2.97 now.

Harbinson’s only answer to why is parity.

“There are a lot of good teams right now,” he said. “Goals are hard to come by.”

Vees notes: Forward Travis Blanleil has committed to the University of Vermont for the 2014-15 season. Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson in a release said Blanleil is all about hard work.

“I enjoy seeing good things happen to good people,” said Harbinson. “Travis has made our program better on and off the ice and now he is being rewarded for his dedication. I look forward to continuing with Travis’s development over the next two seasons.”

Blanleil, 18, is in his first season with the Vees and third in the BCHL after moving over from the West Kelowna Warriors this past summer. In 15 games with Penticton, Blanleil has three goals and five points with 19 penalty-minutes. The Kelowna product has appeared in 128 regular season games, putting up 27 goals and 62 points in parts of three seasons.



Just Posted

Sandra Krauer, Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki and Barb Hoolaeff were in Skaha Park to announce the return of Ribfest for September, 2021. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Ribfest returns to Penticton

Festival runs from Sept. 17 - 19 at Skaha Lake Park with proceeds going to new splash park

Fiery crash on the Okanagan Connector between two semis. (Facebook)
One dead after fiery Okanagan Connector crash between two semis

DriveBC estimates road won’t be open until 5 p.m.

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Turn out is high in advance voting for the Penticton by election taking place Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Screen shot)
Over 2,500 already voted in Penticton by-election

General voting day is Saturday, June 19

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton reviewing ideas on how to make the city’s north gateway more vibrant

The city has plans to redevelop the area into a welcoming and attractive entrance

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Lady Dia, pictured with her son Glory, is a Kelowna artist. She recently received $10,000 in funding for her podcast MoM:ents. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Lady Dia selected as City of Kelowna’s artist in residence

Dia will release a project designed to discuss and shape the future of a more inclusive Kelowna

Birch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

(Black Press Media stock photo)
RCMP name 2015 homicide victim near Creston, investigation ongoing

26-year-old Clint Wolfleg was found dead in a private residence on May 31, 2015

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to collect donations ahead of Kristy Handel’s 33-kilometre run for Chelaine McInroy (pictured) to cover costs for a new prosthetic leg after her June 12, 2021, surgery. (GoFundMe)
Friend running to raise funds for Armstrong woman’s new prosthetic leg

33-km Run for Chelaine to help athlete cover medical costs from latest surgery

The Okanagan Eatery owner Chelsea Enns brings with her years of front-of-house and management experience to Vernon’s newest restaurant. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Vernon’s newest restaurant serves up Okanagan eats

Trio brings passion for locally sourced dishes and smash burgers to the table

Most Read