Jordan Henderson is ready to take his name back.
Except the Penticton Vees player will have a lot of Google rankings to slog through first.
“Yeah, it comes up here and there,” said the Vees newest defenceman of sharing the same name as the English professional soccer player who plays for Liverpool.
That first step has already been taken. There on the top half of Page 8 of the Google search is the Vees Henderson — a stats page showing two games in the blue uniform and already one goal. Even with three years in the WHL (Spokane Chiefs, Saskatoon Blades and Medicine Hat Tigers) under his skates that first goal feeling isn’t lost on him.
“I just got the puck had my head up and saw an open corner and picked it,” said Henderson, recalling the marker scored in the Vees Saturday night 4-1 win against the Vernon Vipers. “First BCHL goal. I was given the puck and it was a nice goal so I was excited.”
Not having a team of his own until the Vees came calling, Henderson was practicing with a major midget team in his home in Vancouver and hitting the gym to stay in shape. The 20-year-old was chomping at the bit to play, and no better weekend to step in on than back-to-back grudge matches against perpetual foes the Vipers.
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“We adjusted quick to one another,” said Jonny Tychonick, who was his defensive partner in the home-and-home series against Vernon. “He came on Wednesday and we practiced two days together and bonded really quick. We have good chemistry. He is an outstanding player so it has been a lot of fun so far.”
Consistency. Dedication. Skill. All attributes Tychonick credits his new linemate with. And no, not just because he was standing next to him as he was getting interviewed after practice at the SOEC on Monday.
“He is a different duck,” joked Tychonick. “No, seriously though, he is a great guy in the room and bonds relationships with his leadership. He will definitely help this team win for sure.”
If anything, he has helped pull the Vees off their three-game losing skid. The Vees battled to a double-overtime 2-2 draw on Friday when they hosted the Vipers and then earned that 4-1 win the following night. Next up is the Surrey Eagles (12-9-2-1), who have won seven of their last 10 games. Wednesday’s game (7 p.m.) will be the only time the Eagles will land in the SOEC to play the Vees (11-5-1-2) this season.
“They are a good team. They have the second best 10-game record and we are going to need to play even better than we did against Vernon,” said Tychonick. “We have to come out fast and stay focused. It will be a good battle in our home building.”
Massimo Rizzo and Luke Reid return to action for the Vees after competing with Team Canada Black at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Related: Rizzo caps Under-17 Hockey Challenge with four points
Rizzo finished the tournament with one goal and four assists as Team Canada Black took seventh in the tournament played in Dawson Creek