Off to a good start

Dustin Godfrey

The Penticton Vees are feeling good with two out of six exhibition games out of the way.

The Vees took the Vipers in a 4-1 game in Vernon on Thursday and shut out the West Kelowna Warriors in a 2-0 home game on Tuesday.

Coach Fred Harbinson said the games have been an opportunity to experiment with line-ups and rundowns.

"We've had a chance to get some different guys in the line-up and work on some different system stuff," he said. "Just kind of get everybody acclimated to what we do here."

He said it's a busy week with four more exhibition games set along with preparing for the season ahead.

"You're trying to get all your practices in and different things that you want to get across to players through video," he said.

"Then you have four games, back to back, Tuesday-Wednesday and then Friday-Saturday and then you're a week away from playing for real."

Despite a heavy workload, he said the team is kicking it into gear for the coming season.

"Everybody's come in great shape with a great attitude," he said.

The Vees' next game is at home against the Vernon Vipers on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the South Okanagan Events Centre.


Warriors take weekend

Wins are nice any time of the year, even during pre-season.

The West Kelowna Warriors got a look at more players in different situations Saturday night in Salmon Arm, and also skated away with a victory, 4-3 over the Silverbacks.

The win completed a weekend sweep, following Friday's 2-1 win at Royal LePage Place.

Chase Dubois, Matt Monk, Bryon Moradshadi and Mitch Martan scored for the Warriors.

The Warriors led 1-0 after one and built it to 3-0 after 40 minutes of play.

Salmon Arm cut the deficit to 3-2, but Martan on the power-play restored the two-goal lead with what proved to be the game winner.

A late goal got the Silverbacks again within one, but they simply ran out of time.

Matt Vernon stopped all 17 shots he faced over the first half of the game before giving way to Shane Farkas midway through the second.

The Warriors, 2-1 on the pre-season, will host the Penticton Vees Wednesday before closing out the exhibition schedule with a home-and-home series with Vernon net weekend.

Warriors even record

The West Kelowna Warriors evened their pre-season record at 1-1 with a highly entertaining 2-1 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Friday night.

It was the home pre-season opener for the reigning RBC Cup champions, who fell 2-0 in Penticton Wednesday.

First year hopefully Mitch Martan and Matthew Rutigliano, brother of Warriors captain Nick, scored the goals for the Warriors.

Shane Farkas and Gunnar Nielsen were outstanding at times in sharing the win in goal for the Warriors.

While the process is more important than wins and losses in pre-season, Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster was happy for the players in the room.

"It's nice we could get a win here. It feels good for the guys," said Ferster.

"It is a process and we hope to get better as we move along here. We'll trim down here tonight a little bit and have a different lineup tomorrow."

Both teams moved the puck very effectively and skated hard for just the second exhibition game of the season, and, for many, it was the first time they have had a chance to play together.

The Warriors top line of Martan, Parm Dhaliwal and Chase Dubois were particularly effective all night long.

The trio was dangerous almost every time they stepped on the ice.

"I thought Parm was really good tonight. I thought he was arguably one of our best players, controlling pucks down low.

"Obviously Martan, scooting around is hard on pucks and Chase has such good vision and a highly skilled guy. I thought the three worked really well tonight."

Ferster hoped to get the pre-season roster trimmed to about 30, then will make more cuts following tomorrow's re-match in Salmon Arm.

He said the team would be pretty close to set when they face the Penticton Vees next Wednesday back at Royal LePage Place.


Warriors return to home ice

The West Kelowna Warriors step onto the ice at Royal LePage Place tonight for the first time since winning the BC Hockey League title.

The Warriors host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the first of a home-and-home pre-season set between the Interior Division rivals.

It will be the second exhibition contest for the Warriors, who fell 2-0 in Penticton Wednesday night.

The first game was a chance for head coach Rylan Ferster to watch younger players under game conditions.

"I thought our young guys came out real hard. I thought we had a real good first period," he said.

"It's pre-season. I don't hold a lot of weight into pre-season, and we did have a really young lineup."

The Warriors entered training camp at the beginning of the week with 42 players. Ferster expected to trim that number down prior to this weekend's games.

"We'll start to integrate some of the veterans into the lineup very quickly," he said.

Once the pre-season concludes next weekend, the Warriros will be a much different, much younger team than the club that won the RBC Cup.

"We're not going to have the same type of players we had last year. We were a bigger team, an older team. We're going to be younger, but I think we are going to be able to skate a little better than last year. But again, it's a different group."

The Warriors close out the pre-season with games next Wednesday, Friday and Saturday before hosting the Trail Smoke Eaters in their regular season opener on Sept. 9.

Vees captain talks training

Dustin Godfrey

The Penticton Vees are getting ready for the upcoming 2016-17 season.

For the second week of Vees' View with Coach Harbinson, Vees director of broadcasting, media and community events Fraser Rodgers spoke to the team's new captain Nicholas Jones about preparations for the coming season.

Jones said the longer-than-hoped summer has been an opportunity to get to training early after last season was cut short.

"It was a lot longer than we wanted, but we had a nice chance to regroup, get a little stronger," Jones said.

He told Rodgers he hoped he could fill the shoes created by the team's captains of seasons past.

"It's a huge honour, there's been some great captains, here," he said. "Even going back to last year with Tyson [Jost]."

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