The Penticton Vees continued their winning ways, picking up two more wins last week, they’re still number one in the country, two Vees are off to represent Canada at the World Junior A Challenge, a monthly honour for the Captain and milestones for alumni, in this edition of the “Vees Week in Review.”
Two Up, Two Down
The Vees started their five-game home stand last week on a winning note, picking up a pair of wins over Vernon and Trail at the SOEC. First, it was a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime win against the Vipers Wednesday, followed by an 8-1 drubbing of the Smoke Eaters Saturday.
Scott Conway scored the game-tying and game winning goals in the Vees comeback win against Vernon. Penticton trailed 3-1 in the third period, before Chris Gerrie and Conway scored to tie the game. Conway then was the hero, again, in overtime, scoring three-minutes into the extra frame.
Saturday the Vees overwhelmed the Smoke Eaters, scoring a lopsided win to end the week. The Vees blew the game wide open in the second period against Trail, scoring three times in just over three minutes to go up by five, and had a 6-1 lead after two. They added two more in the third period to cruise to the 8-1 victory. Conway led the way again, scoring twice and finished with a game-high four points.
The home stand continues this week, with three more games at the SOEC and it gets going Wednesday, when the Vees host the Merritt Centennials. Wednesday will be the fourth meeting between the two teams this season, with the Vees winning the previous three over the Cents’, but Merritt is coming off a road win in Langley last Saturday.
Then it’s back-to-back games against Vernon and Alberni Valley Friday and Saturday night. Nine days after beating the Vipers in OT, the Vees welcome back their Okanagan rivals to the SOEC on December 4th. Then the Bulldogs make a stop in Penticton on December 5th, on their Interior Division road swing. The Vees last met the Bulldogs on September 24th, a 4-1 win, at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.
Penticton enters this week with a 26-2-0-0 record, first overall in the BCHL and they’re undefeated at home, sporting a 14-0-0 record.
Making the Honour Roll
Scott Conway’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed by the league office, as the Vees forward was given an Honourable Mention for the BCHL Player of the Week award, for the week ending November 29th.
Conway, who’s twice been named the Player of the Week, had four goals and six points in two games last week. He had two goals in the Vees OT win over Vernon and another two goals and four points, in the Vees thumping of Trail. Conway was named the game’s third star Wednesday and was the first star on Saturday night. Conway is third in league scoring with 23 goals and 54 points, just three back of his teammate Tyson Jost for top spot.
Go West, Young Men
Captain Tyson Jost and his Assistant, Dante Fabbro, were among 18 BCHL hopefuls selected for Team Canada West Camp for the 2015 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge.
In total, 60 players were invited to Canada West Camp in Leduc, Alberta from December 5th-8th. Canada West’s roster will be selected from players in the BCHL, Alberta Junior Hockey League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Manitoba Junior Hockey League and Superior International Junior Hockey League.
Jost and Fabbro played on Canada West last year and are locks to make this year’s squad, which will compete for gold in Whitby and Cobourg, Ontario, from December 13th-19th. Canada West last won gold in 2011, when the event was held in Langley, BC.
Another Week, Another Top Billing
For the fifth straight week, the Vees are the top ranked team in the CJHL Top 20 weekly rankings. The Vees have held down the top spot since November 2nd, and if you include the pre-season rankings, the Vees have held the number one ranking for six weeks this season.
Salmon Arm (14) and Chilliwack (15) are the other two BCHL teams ranked this week.
Quinnipiac senior goaltender Mike Garteig (2012) hit a milestone this week, as he tied the program’s all-time wins record of 59, after the Bobcats swept Massachusetts. The milestone win came Saturday, as Garteig and Quinnipiac shutout the Minutemen 1-0. Garteig made 28-saves for his fifth shutout of the season. Garteig leads the country in wins (13), is second in shutouts (5) and fourth in save percentage (.946).
Travis St. Denis (2012) had a pair of assists in the Bobcats 4-1 win Friday night against UMass.
Joey Benik (2011-2012) and Patrick Newell (2015) helped the St. Cloud State Huskies to a weekend sweep, on the road, over the Minnesota Gophers. Benik picked up a goal and Newell had a helper in the Huskies 3-2 win Friday night, then the two combined for three assists in SCSU’s 7-4 win Sunday afternoon. Benik is tied for 14th in the country in goal-scoring with eight.
Speaking of Benik, Mick Hatten of the St. Cloud Times recently profiled the Huskies Sniper. The article can be found here.
Lewis Zerter-Gossage (2015) won’t soon forget Harvard’s win in South Bend, Indiana, Friday. The freshman forward scored his first career NCAA goal, as Harvard knocked-off Notre Dame 4-1. Mario Lucia (2012) scored the only goal for ND in the loss.
Bryce Gervais (2012) was all over the scoresheet for Minnesota State on the weekend, as the Mavericks swept Alaska-Anchorage at home. Friday Gervais has a goal in the Mavs’ 2-0 win over the Seawolves, and then on Saturday he had a pair of goals as Minnesota State thumped UAA 6-2.
On Sunday, Troy Stecher (2011-2013) had an assist in North Dakota’s 4-1 road win at Michigan State, as the Fighting Hawks swept the Spartans; Stecher is tied for 12th in scoring by defensemen in the NCAA, with three goals and 13 points.
Curtis Loik (2011-2012) had an assist in Penn State’s 4-0 win over Mike Lee (2015), Travis Blanleil (2013-2014) and Vermont on Sunday, at the Philadelphia College Hockey Face-Off, at the Wells Fargo Center.
Joey Laleggia (2010-2011) had a big game for the Bakersfield Condors in the American Hockey League last week, as he scored and finished with three points in a 6-5 win over Stockton last Tuesday. Laleggia has six points in 15 games and is a plus five with the Edmonton Oilers farm team.
Curtis McKenzie’s (2007-2009) stint in the AHL after a long-term injury is off to a good start, as he scored in the Texas Stars’ 3-2 win over the San Jose Barracuda on Sunday. McKenzie has six points in eight games with the Dallas Stars’ affiliate, after missing a month with a hip injury.