As the Penticton Vees prepare for home games against Langley tonight and Chilliwack on Saturday, Fred Harbinson isn't expecting to make any major roster moves ahead of the roster deadline Sunday (Dec. 1) roster deadline.
Teams must declare a roster of 22 carded players and three open player cards for any acquisitions made before the final Jan. 10 trade deadline.
"I like our team, I like our make-up," said the Vees president, GM and head coach. "We're not going to be making any big splashes.
"There's a lot of noise, but there's really not a lot out there. We're just going to worry about our own team. We're in first place É it's not like we feel like we have to make a move."
Harbinson said he needs to get veteran forward Cam Amantea back on a Junior-A card at some point. Amantea had to be placed on a Junior-B card when F Josh Blanchard went down with an injury. Players on a Junior-B card can only play 10 games in Junior-A, unless their Junior-B team is knocked out of the playoffs.
The coach is looking forward to a rare opportunity to play back-to-back home games this weekend.
"You hope it gives you a lot of energy, play at a high tempo and create lot of chances of the rush and in transition," Harbinson said.
The Vees (16-6-1-3) are playing two teams at opposite ends of the Mainland Division standings. Langley is in first place at 17-9-1-2, while Chilliwack is last at 7-16-1-2.
The Vees and Langley played spirited 1-1 tie in Langley three weeks ago. Harbinson said the Rivermen are easily the biggest team in the B.C. Hockey League.
"They like to grind you down, but they've got a lot of skill and they'll try to skate with you as well," said Harbinson. "They just went into a very tough building Prince George and got a win (on Wednesday), so we know we'll have our hands full."
Harbinson said Chilliwack has been playing much better of late, led by standout goaltender Spencer Tremblay, who has a .934 save percentage and a 2-2 record on a team nine games under .500 overall.
Harbinson acknowledged the Vees have had some adventurous Saturday evening home games with the early 6 p.m. starts this season. Most of have been decided in overtime, along with a loss to Nanaimo two weeks in which Penticton outshot the visitors 45-16.
"We like to make it exciting for our fans," quipped Harbinson. "All kidding aside, we need to bring the same approach as we did after the first seven minutes of the game on Tuesday (a 3-2 win in West Kelowna)."
The coach wasn't tipping his hand on the starting goaltender, though he did intimate that both Hunter Miska and Olivier Mantha would each start a game this weekend.
The Vees go into action action tonight with a one-point lead over the Vernon Vipers and a two-point edge on Merritt in the Interior Division.