Vees face determined Millionaires

A quick glance at the BCHL standings would suggest Quesnel is inferior to Penticton.

A quick glance at the BCHL standings would suggest Quesnel is inferior to Penticton.

However, the Vees (9-4-0-0), second in the Interior Conference, host the Millionaires (3-7-1-0), third in the Conference, on Wednesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre and Millionaires coach Doug Hedley has no fear. The Vees won the first meeting in Quesnel 3-1 on Sept. 24. Hedley felt his team deserved a better fate as they created chances but lacked finish. They got payback two nights later winning 2-0, albeit against a tired Vees squad, but so were the Millionaires he claims with three game in three nights.

“Kirby Halcrow is a big part of our defense,” Hedly said of his top netminder. “He had an outstanding game and we finally took advantage of mistakes and won a game.”

Vees fans will get a chance to see what kind of miracles the Grande Prairie hockey product has in store. Should Vees goalie Joel Rumpel get the nod, it will be a battle between two goalies trying to state their case to the Canada West brass that will select the team playng in the World Junior A Hockey Challenge being hosted by Penticton Nov. 8 to 14.

For full story, go to www.pentictonwesternnews.com.

When asked, Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson wasn’t sure whom he was going to start in goal.

When the puck drops Wednesday at 7 p.m., Hedley wants to see his players utilize their speed to create turnovers and he feels they match up well with the Vees at even strength.

“We can compete with any team,” said Hedley. “It’s just a matter of special teams right now aren’t really our best friend. Our penalty killing is not bad but our power play struggles at times because we’re not intense enough. The simpler we keep it the better.”

Penticton played in Westside on Tuesday (game results not available at press time). They are coming off a home-and-home sweep of the Trail Smoke Eaters, 6-4 and a 4-3 overtime win on Saturday. That game was one that got away for the Smoke Eaters as Vees forward Brendan O’Donnell scored with 6.6 left on the clock in the first overtime.

For Penticton is was a comeback for the ages.

“This is my fourth year here and this might be the biggest win we’ve had because of the adversity we had to go through,” Harbinson told Black Press.

The Smokies held a 2-1 lead with less than seven minutes to play in regulation time and were awarded a nine-minute power play after Penticton’s Mark Hall tried unsuccessfully to pick a fight with Sam Mellor after a hard hit.

Hall was tagged for fighting, being the aggressor and instigator, which at the time appeared to seal his team’s fate.

Trail took advantage of the power play and upped their lead to 3-1 when Travis St. Denis scored with four minutes and eight seconds left on the clock.

But instead of folding their tent, the Vees got a second wind when Joey Laleggia scored a shorthanded marker with 2:50 to play in the game. Laleggia then tied the game on a blast from the point with 54 seconds left.

“We had that game in the bag,” said Smokies coach Jim Ingram. “We should be in the dressing room right now and packing those two points. But we weren’t mentally tough enough to do it. Right now we’re not good enough to beat that team.”

— story written with files from the Trail Daily Times.

Penticton vees forward Logan Johnston, left, and captain Derik Johnson, right, keep an eye on Trail Smoke Eaters sniper Kyle St. Denis during a Vees 4-3 overtime win at Cominco Arena.

Just Posted

Fastpitch regionals this weekend

Girls Regional Championships in Penticton Saturday and Sunday.

Tables turn as city hall rebuffs Penticton panhandler’s settlement attempt

City lawyer told the court they didn’t believe Paul Braun ‘is serious about complying with the law’

Emergencies drove up Penticton’s 2017 wage costs

Overtime pay for flood and fire recovered from province

Diggers win Penticton slo pitch A division

The VBS Diggers are the A division Penticton Slo Pitch League champions

What’s happening

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Updated: Weather office says more thunder and strong winds possible Friday afternoon, evening

Environment Canada says winds could gust at up to 70 kilometres per hour

Most Read