Vees set for pair vs. Vipers

Colton Davies

The Penticton Vees will look to shake off a winless weekend and veer back on track in a home-and-home set ahead with the Vernon Vipers.

The Vees host their North Okanagan rival on Friday before visiting them on Saturday.

They will enter play this weekend on an uncharacteristic stretch of five losses in their past six games.

Head coach and general manager Fred Harbinson compared this situation to a stretch last year for the Vees where the team went 3-6-0-1 in January.

"We had to see if we had the right character in the room to fight through it, and right now that's what we're looking for," the Vees bench boss said.

The latest in the current groove for Penticton were losses on Friday in West Kelowna to the Warriors and on Saturday at home to the Powell River Kings, by respective scores of 4-3 and 4-2.

"We found different moments in (those games) not to make the play and they did. And at the end of the night, in our division, you're going to end up on the wrong end of it," Harbinson said.

In their past six games, the Vees have allowed four goals on four occasions. 

Harbinson didn't mince his words when explaining that his club has been allowing too many goals.

"That's something that has never happened here in my time. We'll go back to basics. From what I recall, we won a championship a year ago winning low-scoring games," he said.

"We have to find a way to keep pucks out of our net first and worry about putting them in theirs second."

The Vees 10-5-1-1 record has them in 10th in the overall B.C. Hockey League standings prior to action on Tuesday night, but their .647 win-percentage is fifth among all teams.

Vernon, with a record of 14-4-0-3, sits second in the league standings with 31 points.

Head to head this year, the Vees have one win and one tie against the Vipers this season, with both matchups coming in a home-and-home pair of weekend games five weeks ago, similar to what is ahead this week.

Harbinson is welcoming the tough matchup for his group this weekend. 

"I think it's better that we have probably one of the best teams in the league in our building Friday then have to go there Saturday, to really keep putting pressure on ourselves," he said.

"It might get harder before it gets easier and that's what makes this fun."

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