When the Penticton Vees 2019-20 schedule was released, we noted not so much the six road games to start the season, but the nine home games to finish.

The Penticton Vees have set themselves up nicely to capture an unprecedented ninth straight Interior Division pennant in a few months’ time.

With six tough road games to start the regular season, the sentiment seemed to be if the Penticton Vees could hang around .500, or even a little better, they’d be in great shape.

Despite a stunning first-round playoff exit last season, you can bet the Penticton Vees will once again be the team with the target on their chests in 2019-20.

Back by not-so-popular demand is Sidelines’ fearless prognostications on what may unfold in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

In recent seasons that ended prematurely, you always felt confident the Penticton Vees were going to, somehow, some way, find a way to get it done.

The schedule maker ensured Ken Law wouldn’t have to wait long to return to the place he enjoyed so much success over the past eight KIJHL seasons.

Like many people in the hockey world, John DePourcq is bewildered by the precipitous fall of his former Penticton Knights teammate Joe Murphy.

The first round of the Interior Division playoffs were surprisingly one-sided with all four series ending in four-game sweeps, but it’s a good bet the opposite will prevail in Round 2.

When the Penticton Vees dropped three games in a row earlier this month, the naysayers were out in full force, suggesting their hopes of winning a seventh straight Interior Division pennant were dead in the water.

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Nicholas Minerva was within a few hours of missing out on playing in the post-season altogether in his final year of junior hockey eligibility.

When you play 27 post-season games in a space of 51 days, having the luxury of depth at defence and forward can be quite beneficial.

Somewhat lost in the celebration and hoopla of the Vees qualifying for the RBC Cup was the fact it actually happened right here in front of their great fans in Penticton.

The Penticton Vees were winning and pulling away in the Interior Division through the first three months of the BCHL regular season, which glossed over a few shortcomings in the lineup.

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Fred Harbinson has a chance to stand alone in a special category where B.C. Hockey League head coaches are concerned.

After riding the physical and emotional roller-coaster to finally subdue the hated Vernon Vipers in seven games, it can only get easier from here, right?

Strap yourselves in for a long and bumpy ride, Vees fans. This one is not going to be easy.

At the outset of the season, Fred Harbinson stressed he would do whatever is necessary to put together a team capable of challenging for a Western Canada Cup – which the Penticton Vees are hosting – and ultimately, the RBC Cup national championship.

Two of Major League Baseball’s most loveable losers clash in the 2016 World Series with the opening game set for tonight in Cleveland.

There’s something magical about the late-summer, early-autumn time of year.

Some of the traditionalists may not approve, but Major League Baseball has never been more exciting wire-to-wire since the advent of wild-card playoff berths.

While I respect the position of proponents of the designated hitter in baseball, sometimes you just have to be reminded how much fun games can be when pitchers are asked to do more than simply pitch.

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I wandered over to the South Okanagan Events Centre Tuesday morning to check out the sign that was recently erected for the Penticton Vees “Ring of Honour”.

It’s the middle of July and the BCHL playoffs are some eight months away, but it’s never too soon to reiterate the general disdain for the league’s insipid post-season format.

He was one of my all-time favourite Rangers, though he played slightly less than two full seasons in New York.

Chicks may dig the long ball, but give me a good old-fashioned pitchers’ duel any day of the week.

Every year, after the April showers have given way to May flowers, my hockey-crazed mind invariably wanders to an incredibly special date in Penticton’s history.

Their impressive 56 wins and 120 points in the regular season is not going to help the Washington Capitals now against the juggernaut that is the Pittsburgh Penguins.

As disappointed as Penticton Vees fans are with the unexpected second-round playoff exit, perhaps an important message has been sent here.

Momentum can play a major role in a playoff series as evidenced by the Interior Division championship series between the Penticton Vees and West Kelowna Warriors.

Credit West Kelowna Warriors head coach Rylan Ferster with implementing some effective adjustments after Game 1 of the Interior Division final that helped limit the effectiveness of the Penticton Vees vaunted power play in Game 2.

Conventional wisdom suggests the Penticton Vees should beat the West Kelowna Warriors in the Interior Division championship series.

With less than three weeks to go in the regular season, it’s looking very much like long-time Okanagan rivals Penticton Vees and Vernon Vipers will clash in the BCHL playoffs for a third straight season.

Pro soccer has rarely been a topic in this space, but this season we have something well worthy of discussion – a legitimate race for the English Premier League title with a whole slew of teams in the hunt.

When Fred Harbinson identifies a need on the Penticton Vees roster, he usually doesn’t wait long to fill the void.

Spectators who enjoy stationing themselves at the finish line to watch the athletes arrive may want to head downtown a little earlier than normal for this year’s Valley First Challenge Penticton Canada triathlon on Sunday.