Penticton’s midget rep female Vees were a goal away from advancing to the provincial championships.
The Vees lost 3-2 in double overtime with two minutes remaining in 3-on-3 play in Kamloops on Feb. 26.
“They played great. The girls left everything out on the ice,” said Vees coach Shawn Carter, adding it was a heart-breaking loss. “We were that close to going to provincials. One break here or there.”
Trailing 1-0, the Vees scored the equalizer, then got another from Sage Togyi with five minutes left in regulation, trailing 2-1.
“They never quit. They kept pushing and pushing,” he said.
Compared to their home game on Feb. 25, a 4-1 loss to Kamloops, Carter said his team played better. He said the players didn’t have the same energy as they did on the road.
“I think we peaked at the right time,” he said. “As the season went on, it was our San Jose trip after Christmas for five days, the girls really bonded and from there, we have been playing some pretty good hockey. They certainly improved throughout the year.”
Bantam Vees blowout win
The Penticton Murray GM bantam Tier 2 Vees opened their series against Kamloops with a 7-2 win on Feb. 25.
“It’s huge to get that first win. You have to take home ice advantage, you have got to use that to your advantage,” said Vees assistant coach Chad Deleeuw. “It was a good start to the series.”
Aaron Funk led the Vees with three goals, while Carter White scored twice with Kieran Simpson and Finn Halladay each adding a goal. Deleeuw said it would be nice to close the series in Kamloops. However, should the series go to a deciding third game, he is confident the players can get the job done on home ice on March 5. The Vees haven’t lost to Kamloops this season with all the games being close until the series opener.
“It was good to get a big victory like that. Give the boys lots of confidence,” Deleeuw said. “They seem to like to play on the big ice. We are going to have to play smart positionally. Can’t look to make that big hit all the time.”
The winner of the series will advance to the Bantam Tier 2 provincials in Powell River.