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BCHL  

Vees happy to be home

Colton Davies

The Vees six-game road show comes to an end on Wednesday, and it's been largely successful so far.

Penticton earned a come-from-behind 3-2 win in Merritt on Friday and a 5-1 victory in Salmon Arm the next night.

Four of the five road games on this stretch so far have been wins, and the Vees have taken over the BCHL's top spot in the process.

They now play a pair of games against Trail before hosting Vernon on Saturday — those two teams are ranked fourth and third in the BCHL, respectively. 

Vees head coach, general manager and president Fred Harbinson said "no question" this will be the biggest week of the season so far.

"The points are so tight right now, we're down to our final 10 games. It's almost like, as we said to our team, a game six and seven against Trail here," he said.

"And then you get Vernon, nothing has to be said about that rivalry. It's our last time playing them on the year."

Harbinson said Nolan Hildebrand will start in goal on Wednesday in favour of Adam Scheel, who he said is out and will be back on the weekend.

Scheel was run over in the crease on Saturday against Salmon Arm in the game's final two minutes. Silverbacks leading scorer Rhett Kingston came barrelling towards the goal and toppled over Scheel, who was down on the ice for several minutes.

"I didn't like the hit, I'll be honest. I know our player made contact with him, but I think it was pretty evident it was a play that shouldn't of been made, especially in a 5-1 game," Harbinson said.

"We play each other again, I guess there'll be some battles along the way. We'll stand up for our guys, I'm sure they will for theirs as well."

Harbinson also gave praise to his team's offensive output on the weekend, particularly in response to three goals the Vees scored in a span of 62 seconds against the Silverbacks, which put them up 4-1 midway through the game.

"It kind of gave me a flashback to our 2011-12 team when we could score at will," he said, referring to a Vees team that won the RBC Cup that season.

"It put the game in a position where we sitting in a good spot, and Salmon Arm obviously got a little frustrated."

Following Wednesday night's visit to the Kootenays, Penticton plays three-straight home games. Past that, they will play four of their final six regular season games on the road.



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