Vees re-tool for RBC Cup repeat
Sep 7, 2012 / 5:00 am
A tough act to follow? Not really.
Penticton Vees head coach/General Manager, Fred Harbinson says his focus this year is the same as every year - have a strong regular season, hit on all cylinders going into the playoffs and challenge for the RBC Cup.
"There are many different ways to win a championship," Harbinson says.
In 2011-2012, the Vees just happened to take the road less travelled, shattering several long standing records en route to the RBC Cup championship.
The Vees won 42 in a row, 54 overall and picked up 110 of a possible 120 points.
While those are impressive records Harbinson admits may never be broken, he also admits teams that won 20 or 25 fewer games have also been crowned national champions.
With only four players returning from last year's championship squad, Harbinson says people are going to have to be a little more patient with this group despite what their expectations may be.
"I learned a long time ago not to worry about what other people think. We know what we're doing here on a daily basis works and year after year it doesn't mean you are going to win a national championship but we feel we do things the right way," says Harbinson.
"But, we're going to be an exciting team to watch we feel and I can assure our fans we are going to be a hard working team again."
Harbinson says he believes the team will against be an exciting team to watch - a hard working team.
While the Vees will open the season with 16 rookies, Harbinson believes the team is re-tooling not rebuilding.
"In five years we have the best winning percentage in the BC Hockey League, we have two BC championships and a national championship along side that," says Harbinson.
"The expectations here are to try and win again this year. We don't go into the season thinking we only have six or seven players who have been in the league, I think we have a lot of talent and can thing the game."
Harbinson says it's a process of understanding what it takes to win in the BC Hockey League.
"The quicker we can figure that out the better off we'll be."
While the Vees ran away with the Interior Division early last season, he believes the division will be much tighter this season with West Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm looking stronger than a year ago.
Penticton opens defence of its RBC Cup title Friday night when it kicks off the Showcase event in Chilliwack against the host Chiefs.
They face the Vernon Vipers Saturday afternoon.
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