Michael Rebry is Mr. Clutch for the Penticton Vees.
Of Rebry’s 11 goals, four are game-winners.
One of those four came Tuesday during a rare morning game against the West Kelowna Warriors, who the Vees defeated 4-3 in overtime. Rebry’s winner at 2:06 improved the Vees to 12-2-0-1.
Marcus Basara gave the home crowd of 1,345 (elementary students in the area for a school game) something to cheer about when he opened the scoring to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead, despite being outshot 14-7. Twenty-three seconds into the second frame, Ambrose Firkus gave the Warriors a 2-0 edge. Vees forward Wade Murphy replied seven minutes later on the power play and extended his point streak to 13 games. The Vees tied the game at two on a goal by Troy Stecher in the third, then defenceman James De Haas scored on an end-to-end rush to give the Vees a 3-2 lead. That lasted until the final two minutes when Shawn Hochhausen beat Vees goalie Nic Renyard, who finished with 28 saves for the win. It was Hochhausen’s third point.
The Vees are now on a two-game win streak after defeating the Salmon Arm SilverBacks in the Shaw Centre 3-2 last Friday. The SilverBacks erased a 3-0 deficit with two goals 26 seconds apart to give the Vees a scare. The two tallies came after Murphy netted his seventh and eighth goals of the season.
Before the game, Murphy said the Shaw Centre isn’t an easy rink to play in.
“Next time we just have to bear down and finish teams off,” said Murphy. “Maybe we hesitated a bit, took the foot off the gas as they say. We can’t do that. They came back. Pretty terrible.”
Vees goalie Chad Katunar turned aside 31 shots for the win, while SilverBacks goalie Colin Dzijacky made 42 saves in a losing effort.
Last Thursday, before heading off to Salmon Arm, the Vees received word that Katunar, Murphy, Stecher, De Haas, Rebry and Dexter Dancs will be attending the Team Canada West selection camp at the Hockey Canada headquarters in Calgary from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 for the World Junior A Challenge. The tournament is being hosted by Yarmouth, N.S., Nov. 5 to 11.
“I’m really excited,” said Murphy, who received his first-ever invite. “The guys who have made it are excited.”
Being in the league for a third season and helping the Vees win an RBC Cup championship, Murphy isn’t nervous about the camp.
“I have been in pretty big situations before so I’m just going to try and use last year’s experience the best I can,” said Murphy. “RBC is similar, a big stage.”
Wearing the Canadian maple leaf hasn’t crossed the Victoria native’s mind, but Murphy said should he make the team, it would be “a pretty special moment in my career.”
He’s excited for his other teammates and said it shows what type of program the Vees have. Murphy asked Stecher for any advice and was mainly told what to expect of the camp.
“Let your skill do the talking,” said Murphy of what he plans to do.
Dancs was a little bit surprised to get an invite because he hasn’t had the start he’d like points-wise.
“There’s a lot of good guys in this league,” he said. “Felt pretty good to get selected to this camp. I will work as hard as I can and earn my way on.”