The Penticton Vees play their first home game of the season tonight, all be it a pre-season match up with the West Kelowna Warriors at the SOEC; puck drop is 7 pm. The Vees did open their exhibition schedule one week ago and against the Warriors in West Kelowna. That was a prospects game between the two clubs and the Vees came out with a 3-2 win.
Tonight is the first action for the Vees’ returnees and recruited players, as this will the first chance for fans to see this year’s squad. That includes Captain Tyson Jost but not Assistant Captain Dante Fabbro, who’s down in the States visiting schools.
Brendan Barry will get the start tonight for the Vees between the pipes and will split the game with newly signed Anthony Brodeur. Both Barry and Brodeur have looked sharp during Main Camp and in the blue-White intrasquad game last Saturday.
One player Vees fans should keep an eye on his forward Scott Conway. The 20-year-old was named to the Big Ten All-Rookie team last year with Penn State and skated at the Anaheim Ducks Development Camp this summer. Conway will start on a line with Jost and Chris Gerrie.
This is the first visit to the SOEC for the Warriors since game five of the Interior Division Semi-Final, back in March. The Vees won that series, including a 7-0 win in game five at the SOEC on March 9th. Seven returnees from that squad are back this year, but their leading scorer from one season, Liam Blackburn, will not dress tonight.
The Warriors will be debuting one of their off-season acquisitions in goal tonight, in 20-year-old Daniel Mannella. The Tribe picked up Mannella from the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League this summer. Mannella had a .927 save-percentage and 17 wins in 33 starts last year in Oakville.
Also making his Warriors debut tonight is forward Garrett Forster, who came over from Victoria in exchange for Brayden Gelsinger. Forster averaged a point per-game in the provincial capital last year, bagging 17 goals and 45 points in as many games.
Not dressing tonight for the Vees: Dante Fabbro, Tyler Holz (Osoyoos), Nathan Iannone (OHA) and Colton Bilodeau (POE).
Vees and Warriors fans can listen to a FREE audio stream of tonight’s game at www.mixlr.com/penticton-vees. The broadcast is scheduled to start just before 7 pm PST.