Joey Benik (9) and the Penticton Vees are searching for a win tonight at the South Okanagan Events Centre to give themselves a chance at eliminating the Chilliwack Chiefs in their barn on Friday.

Joey Benik (9) and the Penticton Vees are searching for a win tonight at the South Okanagan Events Centre to give themselves a chance at eliminating the Chilliwack Chiefs in their barn on Friday.

Vees confident they can retake lead in series at home

Vees coach wants to see team come out like they did in Game 1 against Chilliwack Chiefs

Entering Game 5 of their BCHL series with the Chilliwack Chiefs, Fred Harbinson wants to see his players come out like they did in Game 1.

In that game, the Vees scored three goals in three minutes before the first period was 10 minutes old. But the Chiefs evened things up on Tuesday with a 3-1 win — a game which Harbinson, the Vees coach, felt got away from them in the second period. The Vees took two penalties for six minutes. Captain Logan Johnston was in the box for kneeing, then Mike Reilly took a double-minor for high sticking.

“They got to win in our building still,” said Harbinson. “We can’t have a feeling that we’re losing the series. Why would we give them the feeling that they are winning the series when it’s 2-2? I’d rather be in our position than Powell River. We have had one bad period in the last six.”

During Games 3 and 4 in Chilliwack, the Vees fired 41 and 33 shots respectively at Chiefs goalie Mitch Gillam — which Harbinson doesn’t want to see change. In the final period of Tuesday’s game, the coach said they spent the entire time in the Chiefs zone. Harbinson isn’t sure why, but they couldn’t draw a penalty or score more than once.

“The only thing I would say is we have to get a little more of almost a football mentality in front of their net,” said Harbinson. “There is a lot of tackling and holding going on. We need to find a way to still get pucks on net.”

While Harbinson said Gillam has been good, he knows the rookie is beatable.

“We have all the confidence in the world that our guys will find a way to do that again,” he said.

Vees goalie Chad Katunar has also posted good numbers with a 1.95 goals against average and.916 save percentage. He has faced 95 shots compared to Gillam, who has seen 146. Katunar will continue to see action in the Vees net as Michael Garteig’s status is still day-to-day.

Puck drop on Thursday is 7 p.m. Game 6 returns to Chilliwack. Should Game 7 be necessary, it will return to Penticton for a 7 p.m. start.


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