The Penticton Vees remain undefeated in December, another player goes down with injury, a trade with the Surrey Eagles, an International Exhibition announced for January, Nic Jones gets some BCHL recognition and a big weekend match up ahead, in this edition of the “Vees Week in Review.”
Let’s Make a Deal
Wednesday morning the Vees announced a trade with the Surrey Eagles, which saw them acquire forward Darius Davidson. The 19-year-old led the Eagles in scoring this season, with 11 goals and 25 points in 30 games. The Surrey, BC, product also led the Eagles in scoring last year, putting up 25 goals and 51 points in 58 games.
Davidson is in his third season in the BCHL and has played in 144 regular season games, all with his hometown team. Davidson will make his Vees debut on Friday in Salmon Arm, when the Vees visit the Silverbacks; he’ll wear number 28.
Another Week without a Loss
The Vees picked up wins against Merritt and Vernon and tied Alberni Valley last week, as they remain undefeated at home. The Vees wrapped up their five-game home stand with wins over the Cents’ (5-3) and Vipers (3-0), before tying the Bulldogs (4-4) Saturday.
Nicholas Jones scored twice in the win against Merritt and finished with three points, en route to being named the game’s first star. Zach Driscoll stopped 28-shots for his second shutout of the season Friday against Vernon, and Colton Poolman scored his first career junior hockey goal, in the Vees tie with the ‘Dogs.
That tie did end the Vees 20-game regular season win streak at the SOEC, which dated all the way back to February of last season, but they’re still undefeated in 17 home games this year.
The Vees now prepare for a home-and-home series with the second-place Salmon Arm Silverbacks this weekend. The ‘Backs, as of today, have 18 wins and 39 points in 29 games and have two games in hand on the Vees. They’ll use up one of those two games tonight when they travel to Vernon.
The Vees haven’t played Salmon Arm since opening night of the BCHL regular season, way back on September 16th, when they were dealt a 4-2 loss; just one of two regulation losses this season for Penticton. The two teams meet again one night later in Penticton on Saturday, December 12th; puck drop is 6 pm.
Infirmary is Full
The Vees were saddled with more injury woes over the weekend, as forward Demico Hannoun sustained a broken arm in the team’s win over Vernon Friday. Hannoun was struck in the arm with a teammate’s shot and his recovery time is forecasted to be about six-weeks.
Hannoun was placed on the 30-day Injured Reserve, joining Seamus Donohue on the IR. The Vees are also still missing Gabe Bast and Dixon Bowen with longer-term injuries.
On the Honour Roll
Nicholas Jones’ impressive week didn’t go unnoticed, as he was given an Honourable Mention for the BCHL Player of the Week award, for the week ending December 6th. Jones had four goals and seven points in three games and was named a first and third star last week. Jones has points in five straight games and has scored at least a goal in each of his last five.
Crack Open a Red Bull
Monday the Vees, in conjunction with the BCHL, announced a special international exhibition game with Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg and their Under-20 team. The Vees will host the Red Bulls on Wednesday, January 20th, at the SOEC and tickets are just $5 for adults and seniors.
Red Bull Salzburg will also play Vernon, Victoria and West Kelowna in a BCHL exhibition tour. The Red Bulls, like the BCHL teams they’ll face, will include players born anywhere from 1995 to 1999. Most of the players are Austrian but there are some German-born players as well.
Tickets go on sale to season ticket holders and the general public on Tuesday, December 14th, at 10 am.
Still Holding at Number One
For the sixth straight week the Vees are the top ranked team in the CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings. The Vees have held the top spot since November 2nd, and if you include the pre-season rankings, they’ve been the top-ranked team for seven of the first 10 weeks of the rankings.
The Chilliwack Chiefs (12) and the Nanaimo Clippers (18) are the other two BCHL teams inside the Top 20 this week.
Mike Garteig (2012) is going to run out of room on his trophy mantle. The accolades continue to pour in for the Quinnipiac Bobcats senior goaltender. For the second straight week Garteig was named the ECAC Goalie of the Week and was also the NCAA Division l men’s ice hockey first star of the week.
Garteig led the Bobcats to back-to-back shutout wins over Yale (3-0) and Brown (3-0) on the weekend. Garteig set a new program record with his 60th career win on Saturday and moved his shutout streak to194:49. Garteig was also named the Hockey Commissioners Association NCAA Player of the Month for November, after going 7-0-2 in nine starts, picking up two shutouts along the way, while sporting a .946 save percentage.
Staying in the crease, Olivier Mantha (2014) was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week, after posting a .939 save percentage in Alaska Anchorage’s weekend sweep of Michigan Tech. Mantha made 32 saves on Friday night in a 3-2 win for the Seawolves, and then he made another 30 saves Saturday, in another 3-2 win over the Huskies. Mantha is 7-6-2 on the year with a 2.63 goals-against average and owns a .913 save percentage.
Connor Reilly (2012) was a big contributor for Minnesota in their sweep over Ohio State. Friday the forward had an assist in the Gophers 3-2 win and he followed that up with a pair of helpers Saturday, as Minnesota edged the Buckeyes 5-4.
Steven Fogarty (2012) and Mario Lucia (2012) factored in Notre Dame’s sweep of Massachusetts. Friday Fogarty had a goal and Lucia an assist in the as the Irish downed UMass 3-1. One night later they did it all over again, as Fogarty scored and Lucia pick up a helper in ND’s 5-1 win.
In the American Hockey League, Curtis McKenzie (2007-2009) continues to regain his form after a long-term injury. McKenzie, playing with the Texas Stars, had three points in two games last week and now has three goals and nine points in 11 games with the Dallas Stars’ farm team.
Joey Laleggia (2009-2011) had an assist in Bakersfield’s 6-4 win last week over San Diego. The defenseman now has seven points, all assists, in 20 games with the Oilers affiliate; he owns a plus five rating as well.
Mike Reilly (2012) was called up by the Minnesota Wild on December 2nd, from their farm team in Iowa. Reilly signed with Minnesota in the summer and in his first pro season in the AHL, the rear-guard was the top scoring defensemen on Iowa with nine points in 23 games. Reilly has yet to make his NHL debut.