Playoffs may be a different “animal”, but so too is this season’s edition of the Penticton Vees.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.