Venue: South Okanagan Events Centre
Game Time: 6pm
Listen: EZ Rock AM 800
Season Series: Oct 10th 4-3 Vees, Oct 11th 4-0 Vees, Nov 5th 3-2 Warriors, Nov 29th at Vees, Dec 19th at Vees, Dec 20 at Warriors, Jan 20th at Warriors.
Vees Home Record: 11-1-0-0
Vees Record vs. Interior Division: 13-2-0-0
Vees Leading Scorer: Riley Alferd 16-16-32
Warriors Road Record: 7-3-0-4
Warriors Record vs. Interior Division: 5-6-0-3
Warriors Leading Scorer: Liam Blackburn 13-30-43
Quick Turnaround: Both the Penticton Vees and West Kelowna Warriors are playing less than 24 hours after their respective games ended on Friday night. Both were on the road, the Vees picking up a convincing 6-0 win in Langley and the Warriors dropping a 3-1 decision in Trail. Both teams traveled back to the Okanagan in some adverse conditions meaning it was a late night / early morning on the bus.
The Vees are looking for their seventh straight win, as they currently are on their second longest win streak of the season. The Vees started 3-0 out of the gate in September, and then rattled off 13 straight wins from October 3rd to November 5th. What team ended the streak? The West Kelowna Warriors of course. The Tribe edged Penticton 3-2 at the SOEC back on November 5th, handing the Vees their only home loss of the season; West Kelowna is the only team to come back and beat the Vees when trailing after two periods.
West Kelowna is wrapping up a busy week as this is their third and final road game of the week. The Warriors lost 3-1 in Trail on Friday night, as it was a tight game, scoreless after one and tied 1-1 after two. Trail’s Kienan Scott scored the game-winner in the third on a penalty-shot and then the Smokies added an empty-netter in the final 10 seconds.
The Warriors also dropped a close game on the road earlier this week in Prince George, losing 7-5 to the Spruce Kings on Tuesday. West Kelowna almost erased a 5-1 second period deficit, as they rallied for a three-goal third period, before PG scored twice into the empty-net.
Air-Tight: Don’t expect one of these two teams to pull away from the other tonight, as the Vees and Warriors always seem to play in one-goal affairs. November 5th was a perfect indication, when the Tribe squeaked out a 3-2 win at the SOEC.
The Warriors have played a lot of one-goal games in the last two months and have played 10 overtime games this season; the most in the BCHL. In fact, the Warriors have only won five times in regulation in the last two months and have just one regulation win in their last five games; cardiac kids I suppose.
If you take away the empty-net goals last night and Tuesday in Prince George, the Warriors have played in seven straight one-goal games and three of those seven have gone past regulation. Looking at the month of November, all but one of the Warriors 11 games has been decided by one goal (empty-net goals aside).
The Vees played in two close games against Merritt last weekend where they needed a third period push to come out with wins. The last two times the Vees and Warriors played the games were decided in the third period; don’t expect anything different tonight.
Oh, Canada: Between Penticton and West Kelowna, they have eight players who have been invited to Team Canada West camp for the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge. Hockey Canada announced the camp roster yesterday, which runs December 7-9 in Calgary. Five Vees and three Warriors were invited to the camp. Gabe Bast, Dante Fabbro, Miles Gendron, Tyson Jost and Demico Hannoun were selected from the Vees, and Liam Blackburn, Kristian Blumenschein and Jonathan Desbiens were selected from the Warriors.
In all, 25 BCHL’ers are among the 60 players from the BCHL, AJHL, SJHL and MJHL invited to try out for a spot on Canada West. The 2014 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge is December 14-20 in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Canada West and Canada East are joined by the United States, Russia, Denmark and Switzerland. The United States are the defending gold medalists.
This & That: Tonight is the Vees last game of November and are looking to finish on a winning note. They’ve won six straight and own an impressive 8-2-0-1 record this month. The Vees have been great against their own division, sporting an impressive 13-2-0-0 record against the Interior. One loss does stick out for the Vees as it’s a bit of a double whammy. They’ve lost only to Merritt and West Kelowna in divisional play but that loss to West-K was also their only loss this season at the SOEC; they’ll be looking to avenge that tonight.
The only roster change for the Vees has Hunter Miska getting the start tonight after Brendan Barry picked up his eighth win and second career shutout last night in Langley. The Warriors welcome back Kyle Marino to the line-up after the defenseman served a one-game suspension last night for being involved in the second fight during the same stoppage Tuesday in PG.
After tonight the Vees and Warriors wrap up their pre-Christmas schedules with a home-and-away set on December 19th and 20th.