Vees love their championship bling

Returning Penticton Vees mesmerized by their RBC Cup championship rings

TROY STECHER

TROY STECHER

Gorgeous and incredible is how the Penticton Vees described their RBC Cup championship bling.

“When I first saw it I was kind of speechless,” said Vees captain Troy Stecher, adding he told himself he wouldn’t wear it. “Unfortunately, I’ve worn it every single day. It’s too nice not to wear.”

Stecher, who was named top defenceman during the 2012 RBC Cup championship, said it’s something special for him, goalie Chad Katunar and forwards Wade Murphy and Cody DePourcq, and everyone home or at university. The Richmond native didn’t expect anything as nice as what they were given. The top has the logo surrounded by “national champions”. One side has the player’s last name with the BCHL logo and “42 Wins in a Row”, while the other side has their record and the championships they won.

“It’s kind of special what we did last year,” said Stecher. “This is just a nice reward for accomplishing all the stuff we did.”

Stecher agreed all the big hits and punishment he took were worth it. He even said the “scars were nice.”

“It doesn’t really matter. It was a long run, we’re all fine, we’re all healthy,” he added.

One day the 18-year-old will look forward to showing the ring off to his grandkids “when I’m an old guy.”

Murphy’s reaction to his first ever ring was, “Oh my goodness.”

“It’s a very nice ring,” he said. “Fred and everyone said it’s worth a lot. It’s amazing.”

“We were absolutely speechless when we received them,” said Katunar. “They are absolutely beautiful.  More amazing then we ever imagined. Got us thinking about last year and the incredible season we had.”

Cody DePourcq said with all the hard work the team put in last year, he was glad to see the pay off.

“Everything about it is just amazing. What is written on it,” he said. “The whole thing is just unbelievable. I have been actually kind of scared to wear it around. Just in case something is going to happen to it. I’m definitely going to wear it to most of our homes games.”

The excitement the rings have created is something Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson hopes rubs off on his new players.

“They see what they’re working for,” said Harbinson.

For the coach, Saturday against Powell River at 5 p.m., when they have the banner raising ceremony, will be the final farewell to last season.

“It should be a good crowd,” he said.

The Vees will host the Prince George Spruce Kings at the same time on Sunday.

Ice chips: Katunar has secured an National Collegiate Athletics Association scholarhips with the University of Notre Dame and will join former teammates Mario Lucia and Steven Fogarty in South Bend, Indiana in 2013-14. In 15 playoff games last season, Katunar was 12-2-0-1 with a 1.73 GAA.