We’re Moving

New Blog Home

After four years, over 1,500 posts and a lot of shared opinions, the Vees blog is moving. With the implementation of the new Vees website, the team now has a shiny new toy to promote and show off. Before the Vees website was aesthetically outdated and not very user-friendly for navigation or content.

We are learning and still working out the kinks but the new site is also a WordPress domain and has all the functionality of this blog, being WordPress as well. So, with that, it makes sense to have everything under one roof, instead of having two things competing against each other.

Don’t worry, nothing is going to change, except where you find all your Vees content. I will still be posting previews, post-game thoughts, video and audio features, alumni news and much more, but just at the new address. Easy to follow, just log on to the Vees website and on the homepage, you’ll notice a tab at the top of the page that reads “Three V’s Blog.” Just click on that and you’ll find all the latest posts and news on the team.

Blog Address

If you want to bookmark the direct link to the new home of the Vees’ blog, it’s below by copying and pasting in your web browser. Or, click the “CLICK HERE” and it will take you directly to the new address.



Thanks to all those who’ve been following the blog and take time to reach out and talk Vees hockey. Hope you all continue on following the blog at its new home.

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Game Preview: Vees visit Vipers to Kick-Off 2016

Jan 1

The Penticton Vees  ring in 2016 the way the ended 2015- battling a division rival. The Vees head up to Vernon tonight to face the Vipers at Kal-Tire Place, as both teams are playing their first games since the Christmas break.

Vees Captain Tyson Jost on facing Canada West teammate Liam Finlay

The Vees last played on December 19th, a 3-2 win at home over the West Kelowna Warriors, as part of a pre-Christmas home-and-home. Vernon was last in action on December 20th, when they picked up a 5-2 Sunday matinee victory over the visiting Powell River Kings.

Don’t worry if you get a sense of déja vu when looking at the Vees schedule over the next two weeks. The Vees play the same two opponents, on the same two days, in the same venues over the next two weekends. Tomorrow night they host Salmon Arm at the SOEC, then it’s right back in Vernon next Friday, with Salmon  Arm coming to Penticton, again, next Saturday.

One of the biggest Christmas wishes for Head Coach Fred Harbinson was probably health, as over the last three months the Vees have been stricken by injury. At it’s worst, the Vees were playing without six regulars in their line-up but managed to fashion a 3-2-1-0 record over those six games in December. Well, the good news is the cavalry has arrived.

Back from injury is defenseman Seamus Donohue and forward Dixon Bowen, both missed a combined 28 games. Donohue hasn’t played since November 1st after suffering an injury in a game against Trail, and Bowen was hurt in Langley on November 20th. Also back from international duty is Captain Tyson and Assistant Captain Dante Fabbro. They last played on December 4th, before going off to the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Ontario, where they won a gold medal with Team Canada West.

Despite their absence the pair are still near the top in the BCHL scoring race. Jost is still third in overall points, with 61 in 30 games, even though he’s played eight less games than league-leader Sheldon Rempal. Fabbro is second in defensemen scoring, with 38 points, just six back of leader Yanni Kaldis, who has 14 games on the Vees rear-guard.

Speaking of the scoring race, Scott Conway, who’s second overall in the league with 68 points, has been a snake charmer this season. Conway has seven goals and 11 points in four games against the Vipers, including a four-point effort back on December 15th, when these two teams last played. Odeen Tufto and Liam Finlay both have four points against the Vees this season for Vernon.

The Vees have had the Vipers number this year, as they’ve won all four match-ups in the season series, including the only game in Vernon. Penticton has grown to be quite comfortable inside Kal-Tire Place in recent years too, as they’re 10-4 in Vernon over the last five years. These two wrap-up the season series next Friday.

Zach Driscoll will get the start in goal for the Vees tonight and comes into the game with a 12-3 record, while sporting a 1.88 goals-against average, and he owns a .937 save percentage; he’s the top goalie in the BCHL. Driscoll won his only start against Vernon back on December 4th, when he stopped all 28-shots he faced in a 3-0 win.

Vernon will likely counter with Andrew Shortridge, who owns a 13-16 record, to go along with a 2.94 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage; he’s the goalie of record in all four games against the Vees this season.

Puck drop is slated for 7 pm and you can listen to the game on EZ Rock AM 800 or you can watch online, at www.fasthockey.com

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Merry Christmas 

From everyone in the Vees organization, Merry Christmas to our fans, sponsors and fellow BCHL members.

If you celebrate, have a wonderful Christmas with family and loved ones. 

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Vees 3rd in Top 20 Rankings at the Break

CJHL Top 20

You may have noticed the Vees website has gone under a significant face lift this week. It’s part of a makeover to all 17 team websites and the BCHL site as well. The league has switched to a new provider, Hockeytech, and over the next few days and weeks, we will be tweaking content on the website; learning as we go. But it’s an exciting change not only for the Vees but the entire BCHL and we look forward to bringing you a more modern and enhanced product.

Yesterday the CJHL released its final Top 20 Rankings before the Christmas break and the Vees saw themselves slip one more spot down to third this week. Again, not surprising as the Vees were missing six regulars from their line-up over the last two weeks but impressively went 3-2-1-0 in those six games they missed all those players. The Vees enter the break with a 31-4-1-0 record, 17 points ahead of second place in the Interior Division.

From the CJHL:

With the holiday break underway, or nearly underway for all ten leagues in the CJHL, a huge congratulations goes out to Canada West, who took home the gold medal over Team Russia at the 2015 World Junior ‘A Challenge. As well, another huge pat on the back goes out to the Coburg and Whitby organizing committees, all their volunteers and OJHL for hosting a wonderful event.

In the BCHL, the Penticton Vees had another small hiccup this past week and they will look to rebound in the New Year when their top players return from the Canada West roster.

In the AJHL, the Brooks Bandits have extended their winning streak to nine games, and have moved closer to the overall standings leader – the Spruce Grove Saints.

The Melfort Mustangs remain in a tight battle for top spot overall in the SJHL with the Battlefords North Stars. The Portage Terriers remain at the top of the MJHL, but find the Winkler Flyers and the Steinbach Pistons breathing down their necks in the overall MJHL standings.  

The Fort Frances Lakers in the SIJHL continue their strong grip on first place, while the Soo Thunderbirds, Powassan Voodoos, and the Cochrane Crunch are continuing to dominate in the NOJHL.

The Trenton Golden Hawks are still running away from the rest of the OJHL, while the Ottawa Jr. ’A’ Senators have zoomed back into second place overall behind the Carleton Place Canadians in the CCHL.

The College Francais de Longueuil of the QJHL have slipped ahead of   the Montagnards de Sainte-Agathe, while the Summerside Western Capitals continue to hold onto top spot in the overall standings in the extremely competitive Maritime Hockey League.

On behalf of the CJHL and the Pointstreak Top 20 Weekly Rankings, we extend our best wishes to all the players and their families, our teams and their fans, for a wonderful and safe holiday season. The rankings will return on January 4, 2016.

Top 20 Rankings

  1. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (1)
  2. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (3)
  3. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (2)
  4. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (4)
  5. Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (5)
  6. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (6)
  7. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (12)
  8. Winkler Flyers  (MJHL) (7)
  9. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (8)
  10.  Cochrane Crunch (NOJHL) (14)
  11. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) (10)
  12. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (17)
  13. Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) (13)
  14. Lloydminster Bobcats (AJHL)  (9)
  15. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (11)
  16. College Francais de Longeueil (QJHL) (16)
  17. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (NR)
  18. Summerside Western Capitals (MHL) (19)
  19. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (20)
  20. Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL) (15)          

Honourable Mention: Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL), Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL), Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL), Cumberland Grads (CCHL), Montagnards de Sainte-Agathe (QJHL) 


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Ben Brar Going Viral

Ben Brar will need a knew helmet after today because his head will be too big. The Vees’ forward celebration against Vernon last week is going viral on social media. TSN website “Bar Down” has done a story on Brar’s celebration known as the “Dab,” which was made popular by Carolina QB Cam Newton.

Brar did the Dab after his breakaway goal last Tuesday in Vernon in the Vees 5-4 OT win. Funny enough, the weekend prior Brar told me he would do it when he scored his next goal. Well…

Bar Down Story

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Highlights + Links: Vees 3 West-K 2



The Vees went into the Christmas break on a winning note Saturday, edging the West Kelowna Warriors 3-2 at the SOEC. The Vees salvaged a weekend split with the win and remain undefeated at home with an 18-0-1-0 record.

Like many of the players, it was an early start for myself on my commute home to Nanaimo to visit family during the Christmas break. Today’s for some  R & R. I’ll have an in-depth recap of the weekend on Monday morning.

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Fabbro, Jost Are Golden…Again

Tyson Jost getting presented the World Junior 'A' Challenge trophy

Tyson Jost getting presented the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge trophy

Dante Fabbro, Tyson Jost and Team Canada West captured gold at the 2015 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge this afternoon in Cobourg, Ontario. Canada West edged Russia 2-1 in the Gold Medal game and Jost scored the game-winner late in the third period; Fabbro assisted on the winner.


Jost led the tournament in scoring with three goals and nine points in four games. Fabbro chipped in with three assists from the blue-line. This is the second gold medal this season for the two, as they won gold with the Canadian Under-18 team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in the Czech Republic in August.

This is Canada West’s first gold medal since 2011, when they won the event in Langley, BC.

Courtesy of World Junior 'A' Challenge Twitter account.

Courtesy of World Junior ‘A’ Challenge Twitter account.

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Post-Game Blog: Greenfield, Warriors Blank Vees

Post-Game Chart Dec 18



Dec 18

Photo: Kyle Anderson / West Kelowna Warriors

  • It was a night of firsts but ones the Vees won’t recall on fondly. The Vees lost their first regular season game in West Kelowna in nearly two years. They dropped their first game to West Kelowna this season and were shutout for the first time this season. It was the first game for the Warriors Matt Greenfield and his first win and his first shutout. Like I said, a lot of firsts.
  • It was a defensive struggle as it took nearly 58-minutes for a goal to be scored and the Warriors and their marketers must have been sweating, as it was their annual Teddy Bear Toss night. I thought we would see overtime for the second time this year in a Teddy Bear Toss game but Jonathan Desbiens had other ideas. The goalies were good, as Greenfield shown, stopping all 41-shots the Vees threw at him; talk about a good first impression. Zach Driscoll was no slouch either, stopping 24 of 25 shots and he had no chance on the game winner. A real hard-fought contest between two rivals which made for good theater.

  • Above is the game-winner, the only even-strength goal in regulation, as Desbiens pots the rebound after a broken play in the Vees’ end. Some tough luck for the Vees on the winner, especially at the side of their net but first let’s go back to the beginning of the play. Hindsight is 20/20 but there was a chance for a pass to an open Easton Brodzinski on the right side. He’s alone in the circle but Scott Conway didn’t seem to pick him up right away and elects to shoot, which gets blocked by Nick Rutigliano. Watching the video, you wonder why didn’t he pass? Well, Conway is the team’s points leader, leads the team in goals (30) and just had a 4-point night in Vernon Tuesday. You want your tops guys shooting with the game on the line. So, you live with the blocked shot there and remember, he has 10 game-winners to his name and has been in involved in 18 game-winning goals this year. Easy to play armchair quarterback and say “Pass it to Brodz!”
  • The real rotten luck came at the tail end of the play just before the goal. Connor Sodergren comes down the left-wing, wanting to pass it over to Kyle Marino on the far-side. Domenic Masellis makes a great defensive play by coming across and laying down to block the centering feed; good tie-up too by Taylor Ward at the back-post. The puck sticks underneath Masellis though, allowing Sodergren to desperately flick it back out front, where it’s tapped-in by the trailing Desbiens. I thought it was going to be a heck of a defensive play that negated a quality chance but it turns out to be the game-winner. I don’t think the Vees thought the puck was going to come back to Sodergren there for the second chance at passing it; that hesitation cost them. Unfortunate turn of events.
  • Really, really liked the effort level from the Vees on Friday night. They only had four regular defensemen in the line-up but held the Warriors to just seven shots in the first and eight in the second; just 15 after 40-minutes. That’s against a full line-up in West Kelowna, who are the fifth-highest scoring team in the BCHL. It was all about the team defense as Assistant Coach Nick Fuher touched on in the post-game show. Not only were the defenseman good at boxing out in front and consistent at getting pucks quickly out, but the forwards did a great job at back-checking and forcing turnovers at their own blue-line. A lot of good timing with sticks, to deflect shots, poke pucks loose and lift Warriors off the puck. The result was disappointing but their wasn’t much sulking going on after the game. The Vees battled hard, competed for 60-minutes and played a strong defensive game; the bounces didn’t go their way Friday.

  • Great rush and scoring opportunity for the Vees in the third period by Colton Poolman; maybe it was their best chance to score. I think this play exemplifies the confidence by Poolman, as he’s much more involved offensively and partially because he was forced into that role with all the injuries, but a role he’s really embraced. I don’t think he would have done this in October or even mid November. First, he makes a great pivot at the side of his net to elude one fore-checker, then he powers past another behind the goal, before curling out on the far-side. He then finds Luke Voltin at centre ice before turning it on the jump up into the play. Then, in full stride, he takes a return pass from Voltin, makes a great move at the blue-line to dance around Nick Rutigliano but JUST pushed his forehand attempt wide of the corner.You could tell what he means to the team by the benches reaction to the play. They all were off their butts, holding their breath, and when the shot went wide you could see them fall back into themselves into disbelief; they were cheering the puck into the net. Poolman is great kid and is now becoming a heavy presence at both ends of the ice. Too bad that didn’t go in, would have been a great 20th birthday present.
  • OK, lets circle back to the Warriors Matt Greenfield. What a debut. acquired last week from the USHL’s Tri-City Storm, the 20-year-old makes his debut against the BCHL’s best team and shuts them out with a 41-save performance. Got to tip your cap to him. Before the game, Warriors Head Coach Rylan Ferster and I chatted about their goaltending issues and he said “it was no secret” they had some problems between the pipes. They were looking for some stability, as Greenfield was their fifth starter in as many games against the Vees this season. Well, he looked like a veteran as he played with a lot of poise, looked really calm in the net and didn’t seem to be out of position. The Vees kept firing shots but he was there, time and again, squaring up the shooter and not really letting out juicy rebounds. After the game I thought to myself, “Was he THAT good tonight? He didn’t really make any highlight reel saves.” Then I realized maybe he didn’t have anything that jumped out at you because his technical side. He was pretty sound and wasn’t scrambling around so that means he didn’t have to make any real desperate saves. Maybe West-K has finally found their guy.
  • Speaking of calm, technically sound goalies, Zach Driscoll was very good throughout the game for the Vees. He made two really eye-popping saves on two different Warriors power-plays. First, in the second period, he darted out his right-pad to stop Kyle Marino right on the goal-line by the post. Then, in the third, he came across nicely to get a shoulder on a Garrett Forster one-timer attempt. Driscoll was up to his old tricks Friday but unfortunately the offense dried up. You almost want to be an asterisk beside his third loss.
  • The Vees, if they would lament anything in the loss, would be their power-play. They had five opportunities, two in each of the first two periods and one late in the third but they couldn’t crack the Warriors PK. First, credit West Kelowna for getting in front of quite a few shots, as they filled the shooting lanes well. But I just had this overall feeling that the PP was, just, off; some chemistry issues. Maybe it was some hesitation, some over passing but there wasn’t that killer instinct there which we’ve seen and as most recently as Tuesday; they were 2-3 against Vernon. But the Vees did make a few changes to the power-play units, incorporating more forwards to ease some of the minutes for their defensemen, and that had the two units a bit off. Now, with a game of seasoning under their belts, do I expect a more comfortable looking power-play tomorrow? You bet. They’ll have to simplify their approach a bit too, as they need to move the puck a bit quicker and shoot more. One other big key is to hit the net. The Vees missed one too many nets from scoring areas when on the power-play Friday.
  • That was the Vees first loss in West Kelowna, in the regular season, since December 21st, 2013. Almost two years ago to the day and that too, oddly enough, was a shutout loss, as the Tribe blanked the Vees on that night 4-0. What a run that was for the Vees, they had won their last six trips to RLP before Friday. All-time, they’re now 27-7-0-1 in West Kelowna; still a pretty darn good record.
  • Conway’s 31-game streak is now over. All good things have to come to an end. He had 68 points, 30 goals, during the run, which stretched all the way back to September 16th. Like I said on Twitter after the game, we’ll likely never see something like that again.
  • It was just one of those nights. After the game, I packed up my radio gear and went outside to catch the bus but one problem-it wasn’t there. A slight miscommunication saw the team bus leave without me. Unfortunately for a lot of BCHL message board members, the bus did quickly swing back and pick me up; sorry guys. But I thought that scenario kind of summed up the night for the Vees. Just wasn’t meant to be.
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Blog Preview: Vees, Warriors in Weekend Double-Header

Dec 18



  • The Vees go head to head with the West Kelowna Warriors this weekend to wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule. The Vees are coming off back-to-back double-overtime wins over Salmon Arm Saturday and Vernon Tuesday. West Kelowna is back home after taking two out of three on an Island Division road trip last weekend.
  • Tuesday the Vees made their first visit to Kal-Tire Place in Vernon and came away with a dramatic 5-4 win in OT. Chris Gerrie was the hero, as Scott Conway set him up for the game-winner 1:41 into three-on-three. The Vees had an early 1-0 lead in that game but trailed 3-2 after one and were down 4-3 late in the third, before rallying to beat Vernon for the fourth time.
  • West Kelowna dropped a 4-2 decision to the Bulldogs in Port Alberni Friday, before rebounding with a come-from-behind win over Nanaimo (7-4) Saturday. They concluded their three-game swing with a 5-3 win in Victoria on Sunday afternoon. Tonight is their first home game since December 4th.
  • The Vees have had the Warriors number this season, as they’re 4-0 against the Tribe and have won both of their visits to Royal LePage Place this season, including their last visit, November 13th, when they scored a 3-1 win. The Vees franchise has enjoyed a lot of success in West Kelowna, as they’re 27-6-0-1 at RLP since the Warriors relocated from Langley in 2006.
  • Scott Conway carries his BCHL-best 31-game point streak into tonight’s game. The 20-year-old has 34 goals and 68 points during the run which started way back on September 16th. Conway has just missed two games this year due to a school visit and has points in 31 of the 32 games he’s played. Conway has the most points against West Kelowna this season, scoring three goals and collecting five points in four games.
  • The Vees will dress three affiliate players again tonight, as defensemen Daniel Stone and Ryan Morrell from the Osoyoos Coyotes will be in the line-up. Upfront, the Vees will have 17-year-old Nathan Iannone playing alongside Desi Burgart and Ben Brar. Iannone made his BCHL debut on Tuesday in Vernon and plays at the Okanagan Hockey Academy.
  • Zach Driscoll is back between the pipes and is 12-2 with a 1.93 goals-against average and owns a .935 save percentage. Driscoll is 2-0 against the Warriors this year, sporting 2.50 goals-against average, to go along with a .921 save-percentage.
  • Goaltending has been a sore spot for the Warriors this year, as they’ve used four different goalies in the four games against Penticton this year. The Vees have faced Daniel Mannella, Forbes Ploszaj, Stephen Heslop and most recently Keelan Williams. The Tribe recently signed 20-year-old Matt Greenfield from the Tri-City Storm of the USHL and he’ll likely make his BCHL debut tonight.
  • Liam Blackburn, Kylar Hope and Jonathan Desbiens have been the three-headed monster for the Warriors this year. Blackburn leads the team in scoring with 42 points, closely followed by Hope with 40 and Desbiens is third with 36. Blackburn had a 19-game point streak this season that spanned nearly two months from September 19th to November 13th. Hope has already doubled his point totally from last year and in 24 fewer games. He also carries a 13-game point streak into tonight’s contest, as he hasn’t been held off the scoresheet since these two last played on November 13th; Hope was their Player of the Month for November.
  • Tyson Jost, Dante Fabbro and Canada West booked a spot in the Gold Medal game at the 2015 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge Thursday, after they beat Canada East 8-5. Jost led the way for Canada West, picking up a game-high four points, which tied a tournament record, en route to being named the Player of the Game. They’re off today before facing the Russians tomorrow afternoon in the Gold Medal game. A full recap of last night’s win can be found here. 


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Canada West Going for Gold

Tyson Jost tied a tournament single-game record, picking up four points, as Canada West beat Canada East 8-5 in Semi-Final action at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Cobourg, Ontario.

Above is Jost’s third-period goal, a period which saw the two teams combine for a tournament record nine goals. Jost was named Canada West Player of the Game.

Canada West will face Russia on Saturday at 1 pm PST, in the Gold Medal game; it will be televised live on TSN.

Hockey Canada Recap:

Tyson Jost (Kelowna, B.C./Penticton, BCHL) tied a tournament record with four points in a wild third period, sparking Canada West to a back-and-forth 8-5 win over Canada East on Thursday night in semifinal action at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge.

The victory sends Canada West back to the gold medal game for the first time since 2012; the Canadians will face Russia in Saturday’s final (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on TSN), in search of their fourth gold medal.

Liam Finlay (Kelowna, B.C./Vernon, BCHL) had a goal and two assists, and Joseph Nardi (Edmonton, Alta./Whitecourt, AJHL) added a goal and a helper, all in the final 20 minutes; the two teams combined for a record-setting nine goals in the period, and Canada West became the fourth team to score six times in a single stanza.

Both teams started quickly; Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alta./Spruce Grove, AJHL) poked in a loose puck on a Canada West power play to open the scoring at 2:48, but Owen Grant (Stittsville, Ont./Carleton Place, CCHL) knocked a rebound past Matthew Murray (St. Albert, Alta./Spruce Grove, AJHL) just 69 seconds later.

Adam Smith (Sharon, Ont./Newmarket, OJHL) jumped on another rebound to give Canada East its first lead at 11:08, but Bobby McMann (Bonnyville, Alta./Bonnyville, AJHL) replied 24 seconds later for West.

That would be it for scoring until the third period, and when it came, it came fast and furious.

Cale Makar (Calgary, Alta./Brooks, AJHL) snuck a change-up past Colton Point (North Bay, Ont./Carleton Place, CCHL) on a West power play at 3:38, and Finlay tapped in another goal with the man advantage at 6:14.

But Brett Murray (Bolton, Ont./Carleton Place, CCHL) scored right off the face-off at 7:23, and Luc Brown (Napanee, Ont./Wellington, OJHL) swept in shot at 11:23 to tie the game once again.

Jost restored the West lead 16 seconds later, shaking off an East defencemen before ripping a slap shot over Point’s glove, only to see Josh Kosack (Oakville, Ont./Oakville, OJHL) bat a rebound past Murray at 14:50.

Nardi finally gave West the lead for good at 16:51, going to the net to redirect a Finlay feed, and Tyler Busch (Lloydminster, Alta./Spruce Grove, AJHL) and Noah Bauld (Halifax, N.S./Lloydminster, AJHL) both hit the empty net in the final minute.

Canada East will be right back on the ice Friday night, returning to Whitby, Ont., where it played its preliminary round games and quarter-final, to face the United States in the bronze medal game (7 p.m. ET).


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