Calling all Penticton Vees fans, the team needs your help to free head coach Fred Harbinson from his ‘lock up’ in the Penticton Peach.
Beginning at noon on Aug. 13, Harbinson will have to stay locked into the Peach until the organization sells 30 more season tickets. If purchased today, the tickets also include two free rounds of golf Twin Lakes Golf Course, located Keremeos and Kaleden.
Harbinson is confident in his team’s great fan base in the area, but figures he’ll be spending around 12 hours in the icecream hut located on Lakeshore Drive. He said he’s not too sure he can hold off on the temptation of icecream, though.
“I’m thinking I’ll have to stay here maybe 12 hours. I don’t know how long I can hold off on the icecream,” laughed Harbinson. “It’s hot in here so I might have to give in a little bit. I just went to the gym so I guess I’m allowed a few extra calories. And it’s the last week of summer for us so I can eat icecream.”
The team’s players are currently filtering into the area, with their first on-ice practice scheduled for Aug. 19. Following the heartbreak of a short playoff run last season, Harbinson said the guys have been working hard over the summer to bring their all this season.
“Clearly, we didn’t like the way our season finished last year so we want to make a lot of strides with our team,” said Harbinson. “I think it’s going to be an exciting team. We have four exhibition games coming up, two against the national champions from Brooks, Alta., and then we’ll be into our regular season with our home opener on Sept. 27 against West Kelowna.”
Jack Barnes, 19, is a returning player this season and echoed Harbinson’s sentiment that the guys are getting excited to be back out on the ice. He said some players have bets on how long their coach will be ‘locked up’ but all of them hope it will be a brief stint.
He said aside from the team and organization, one reason Harbinson chooses to come back each season is because of the great fan base behind the Penticton Vees.
“We have a great fan base that is very passionate. It’s something that draws myself to stay here and coach, it draws the players to play here. It’s an exciting night every time we play in the South Okanagan Events Centre,” said Harbinson. “We’re averaging 3,100 fans and I think the gamechanger was five years ago when Peters Bros. allowed kids in for free. So it’s really affordable really if you’re bringing your family or just a date. And there’s always more than just hockey happening there, there’s always so much happening at the games.”
For more information about the Penticton Vees or to purchase your season ticket online, visit www.pentictonvees.ca. You may still be able to catch Harbinson in the Peach on Lakeshore Drive before he is freed, and pick up your season tickets in person. And may as well grab some icecream while you’re there!
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