Friday, October 25th / 7pm / South Okanagan Events Centre
PENTICTON VEES (GP 15 10-3-1-1 / 22 pts.) vs. VERNON VIPERS (GP 17 9-5-1-2 / 21 pts.)
Rivalry Adds Another Chapter
The Vees welcome the Vernon Vipers to the SOEC for the first of three visits in the regular season; this the second of seven meetings in the season series. These two teams haven’t played in a month, meeting back on September 25th at Kal-Tire Place in Vernon; the Vipers skated to a 3-1 victory. In that game, Max Coatta was the only Vees to put a puck behind the Vipers’ Austin Smith. The Vipers got goals from Brendan Persley, Mark Hamilton and Dexter Dancs. After tonight, these two Okanagan rivals don’t play each other again until November 20th.
Last Home Game for Awhile
The Vees play their last home game for the next 22 days when they tangle with the Vipers tonight. After Friday, the next home game isn’t until November 16th when they host the Nanaimo Clippers. They’ll play five road games between home dates; including a three-game Island Division road trip starting November 8th in Powell River. How long is the gap between home games? The World Junior ‘A’ Challenge will have come and gone, which runs November 4th-10th.
BEAUVAIS, HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE REST
Brett Beauvais will be presented with a brand new Calvin Klein suit prior to the game, as he’s the Grant King Menswear Player of the Month for October. Beauvais, who celebrated his 19th birthday Thursday, picked up five points in seven games this month and is second among BCHL defenseman in scoring with two goals and 15 points. The Summerside, PEI product has four points in as many games and is second in team scoring.
Olivier Mantha will get the start in goal and is making his first start against the Vipers. Coming into tonight’s tilt, Mantha sports a 5-2-0 record with a stingy 1.72 goals-against average and a sparkling .933 save-percentage. Blake Butzow is still out, recovering from meningitis but is expected to join the team early next month. Other than the change in goal, it’s the same line-up that the Vees iced on Saturday in Langley.
SIZING UP THE OPPOSITION
The Vipers have won six of their last seven games and took four out of a possible six points on their recent Island Division road trip. Entering October the Vipers were hovering around the .500 mark, now with their recent success, they’ve vaulted up to third in the Interior Division, just one point back of the Vees. Since the Vipers last met the Vees, they’ve won seven of their last 11 games, including rattling off six straight wins earlier this month. The Vipers are a bit banged up coming into tonight’s game, as they’ll be without top scorer Mason Blacklock, who was third in league scoring at the time of his injury (15-9-24). Speaking of injuries, the Vipers have goalie Austin Smith sidelined but there is some good news, as defenseman Ryan Renz is likely to return. Liam Coughlin did miss Sunday’s game in Alberni Valley and will be a game time decision. Danny Todosychuk is expected to start in net for Vernon, who owns a 6-4-0 record with a 2.91 goals-against average and .901 save-percentage.
Both teams will say goodbye to some key players after tonight’s clash, as six players from these two teams will head to Calgary for Team Canada West selection camp, as part of the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge. Alex Coulombe, Brett Beauvais and Paul Stoykewych were invited from the Vees and Demico Hannoun, Dexter Dancs, Jared Wilson and Mason Blacklock from Vernon; Blacklock unable to attend due to injury.