VIDEO: Vees eager for their three-game homestand
Three home games in three days has Penticton Vees goalie Mat Robson smiling.
Robson expects it to be fun and good for the city as they kick off their final regular season home games on Friday against the West Kelowna Warriors.
“Something going on every night here,” he said.
The Toronto native said they will benefit from sleeping in their own bed, something he looks forward to, and having family in town.
“We’re just going to look to carry over our performance from last weekend (2-0 win over the Wenatchee Wild on Feb.11),” he said. “Keep that snowball rolling down the hill in the right direction.”
Heading into the weekend, the Vees are 37-12-2-1 for 77 points, fourth in the BCHL and 19th in the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
Robson, who has the second best goals against average at 2.08 in the BCHL, is used to playing several games in a short time span and said they are looking forward to playing good hockey.
“The guys live for the games,” said Robson.
When it comes to playing that many games, Robson said leaders in the dressing room are looked upon for knowledge. He emphasized the importance of players getting their cool downs after every game, including warming up properly, getting to bed and waking up at the right time.
“That is where the leadership core will come in,” he said. “These guys are all in good shape. It has been a long season. I don’t think we’re going to slow down any time soon.”
Robson believes in a lead-by-example approach. When players arrive at the South Okanagan Events Centre, they have their own routines. At this point of the season, it is about getting their mind ready for a game. It is a mental challenge for the players with three games in a row when “you kind of get yourself amped up for all three of them.”
The Vees have put in their work in practice and gone over video. Robson said they don’t want help anyone. Their focus is to work on details and getting in the right habits.
The Vees are 5-0 against the West Kelowna Warriors, who Robson says have a potent offence. It starts with leading scorer Quin Foreman, 10th in the BCHL with 24 goals and 64 points in 53 games.
“It’s been good battles with them all year,” said Robson. “Every single game has been tight.”
Vees forward Jared Nash remembers that fights that took place when they last played and the energy. He said they want to make sure they use their speed.
“We’re a team that can skate with any one,” said Nash, adding they have a tendency to skate down to the level of other teams.
On Saturday, the Vees will host Salmon Arm, then close the home schedule against the Victoria Grizzlies on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Vees’ awards presentation will take place following the game.