Game simulations have been the focus for the Penticton Vees this week.
With a break from BCHL action last weekend, Vees coach Fred Harbinson felt putting the players through game simulations would help get them back on track as they play in Powell River Friday to start a three-game road trip.
“Obviously special teams is always important, especially when you are playing against some good teams and playing the best team in the league in Powell River,” said Harbinson, on the 14-3-0-1 Kings. “We watched a lot of film on all three teams (Kings, Nanaimo Clippers and Alberni Valley Bulldogs). I think with all those teams you have to be really detailed with your approach. I think you have to really manage the puck well.”
Nanaimo, 10-9-0-1 on the season and 5-5-0 at home, and the Kings, 4-0-1 at Hap Parker Arena, don’t make a lot of mistakes said Harbinson.
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The Vees, who are 3-4-1 away from the South Okanagan Events Centre need more offense. Rookie Max Cotta and Anthony Conti are the lone players averaging a point-per-game on the road. Coatta has five goals and nine points in eight games, while Conti, has two goals and eight points in seven games. Captain Brad McClure has three goals and six points in eight games as does Ben Dalpe.
When asked if the Kings play different at home compared to the road, Harbinson said they are similar to the Vees.
“They are always really good at home,” he said. “They are very aggressive on their forecheck. They are going to come really hard at us. Im sure they are a bit ornery from the way the game went here.”
The Vees won that game at the SOEC 4-3 on Oct. 12.
Before the Vees get to the business of trying to pick up six points on the road, the players, especially rookies are looking forward to the travel and their entertainment, which includes rookie idol.
“Maybe a little of that. That’s a ritual,” said McClure.
Jack Ramsey said while some players are planning duets, he’s going solo.
“I can’t share too much about that,” he said of the contest.
What he would confess is to being a decent singer and it will be a country song.
“I like Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley,” said Ramsey, who turned 18 on Nov. 2.
Vees notes: Defenceman Brett Beauvais and Alexandre Coulombe were named to Team Canada West for the CJHL Prospects game during the World Junior A Challenge. The Games are schedule for Nov. 8 and 9. Harbinson said that both have chosen not to go. “They were kind of questioning the significance of was it really going to be a help to them. We stayed out of it. We told them we would support whatever they wanted to do. It’s not a slap at anything. It wasn’t because they didn’t make the Canada West team. This is just one of those things the players decided they weren’t interested in going. We support that.” Paul Stoykewych and Canada West has clinched a semifinal berth and will play Friday. Canada West finished 2-0 in round robin play.