Vees win season opener

Colton Davies

The Penticton Vees opened the BCHL regular season with a 4-2 road win against the Merritt Centennials on Sept. 9, their only game on the first week of the league's schedule.

The Vees jumped out to a 2-0 lead just 1:47 into the first period.

"There was a long delay, which you see a lot of times from home openers... Our guys handled it well and came out of the gates extremely well," Fred Harbinson said, Vees head coach, general manager and president.

Co-captain Owen Sillinger scored the Vees first goal of the 2017-18 season at 1:40 of the first. Seven seconds later, Owen's younger brother Lucas Sillinger scored one of his own.

"We've had some different brother combinations over the years here; these two guys are going to be big parts of our team this year," Harbinson said. 

Sophomore defenseman Jonny Tychonick scored the eventual game-winner on the power play at 11:57 of the middle frame.

Harbinson said he expects Tychonick to be a key player on a revamped Vees power play this season.

"One of the thing that (Tychonick) had trouble with a year ago was getting pucks through. You can see that he's already gotten through that. (Nicky) Leivermann, (Ryan) O'Connell, we've got a lot of guys that can play it off the top on the power play, and I think that's where it always starts."

The BCHL schedule starts slow for the Vees; they once again have only game on the docket this week, which will have them on the road against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Friday.

The Silverbacks started the season with home-and-home games against the Vernon Vipers on Sept. 9 and 10, losing by respective scores of 5-1 and 6-5, for an 0-2 start to their season.

"We have to manage their momentum swings and make sure we play the game the way we want it to be played," Harbinson said.

Puck drop between the Vees and the Silverbacks on Friday is at 7 p.m. at the Shaw Centre. 

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