Published: January 04, 2011 6:00 PM
Penticton Western News
It’s been 50 years since Penticton iced a AAA senior men’s team, but the reincarnation of the Vees didn’t disappoint.
A crowd of 200 watched a thrilling 7-6 overtime win against the Okanagan College Coyotes on Saturday, then a 6-2 loss the following day.
Colin Pentland and Brendan Miller scored for the Vees, who opened the scoring. However, Coyotes captain Sasha Golin of Summerland, who played 269 games in the WHL, scored twice in the second period and gave his team the lift it needed. The Vees were plagued by injury in game two, losing Brad Priestlay, Andrew Pond, Joel Graf and goalie Dan MacDonald. In the win, the Vees received offence from Mark Petry with two, Tim Card, Miller and Anthony Leardo, who also added two assists. Former BCHL goalie Jordan Sullivan faced 37 shots in the win.
“This was a big guage for the team to see our eliteness against some of the best college teams in B.C.,” said Vees GM Rob Dekock. “A win first game back at Memorial was a bonus and we look forward to getting more games in Penticton to showcase the team.”
The Vees will compete for the Savage Cup March 15 to 19, the B.C. Senior Hockey Championship hosted by Fort St. John. This year the defending Allan Cup champion Fort St. John Flyers, the Prince George Mohawks and the Vees will compete in the Savage Cup.
The winner advances to play the Alberta champion and that winner advances to the Allan Cup tournament in Kenora, Ont. April 11 to 16.
Now Dekock is working on bringing the Mohawks soon, as the home location is yet to be determined. A deal with Global Spectrum for the first two games was signed on Dec. 23. If Memorial Arena isn’t available, the Vees will look at playing their games in Summerland or Oliver with minor hockey utilizing the arena on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon.
“The key to operating the team will be sustainability,” said Dekock. “We have teams lined up to bring into town to play that include the Mohawks, Flyers, Powell River Regals, Williams Lake Stampeders, college and university teams that include UBC, SFU, UVIC, Okanagan College, Thompson River University, Trinity Western University, Selkirk College and Fraser Valley University. They all have varsity teams formed that we can compete against.”
Dekock, who was involved with the Silver Bullets, said shortage of teams won’t be a problem as it was for the Silver Bullets in the 90s. Dekock also believes the Vees alumni will appreciate what is being done once they see the product.
“The original name the Vees was important in naming the team so that people could identify with the team more easily,” he said. “All three teams the Flyers, Mohawks and Vees have kept their original names that were created 50 to 60 years ago and that is a tradition that is important to all three teams. We are trying to keep a tradition in place and move our programs forward.”
(A side note - News to those of us with the Stampeders to hear that Williams Lake will be playing Penticton anytime soon. Where did that come from??)