The start of the Penticton Vees RBC Cup championship pursuit begins today.
The Vees open their 2014-15 season in Chilliwack for the BCHL Bauer Showcase against the Surrey Eagles at Prospera Centre at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s exciting to finally be able to get to play some games,” said Vees co-captain Patrick Sexton, who signed several MarketPlace IGA bags during the Vees’ ticket pick-up party for season holders.
In taking on the Eagles and then the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday at 3 p.m., Sexton expects hard work from both teams.
“Just from other talk around the league those teams are going to come with an outstanding work ethic,” said Sexton. “They are not going to be easy wins. Hopefully let our work do the talking.”
Vees starting goalie Hunter Miska expects teams to put up their best effort.
“We’re like the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL, but in the BCHL,” said Miska. “Everyone is going to come out hard and try to beat us. We’re going to come out strong and play our game.”
Ending the exhibition season with a decisive 8-1 win over the Merritt Centennials on Sunday, Miska said the team looks really good.
Sexton stressed the importance of the Vees playing with a strong work ethic.
“It’s the one thing that is the most controllable,” said Sexton. “You can decide whether you want to go out and work hard every shift. With all the speed and skill we have on this team if we are able to work hard, the points will come.”
Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson said with knowing little about opponents at this stage, he only concerns himself with his own team’s game.
“Surrey is a bit of an unknown with changes there,” said Harbinson. “Alberni Valley is always known for being a good offensive team. We need to make sure our compete level is there.”
With the team built on four lines and six or seven defencemen that can be relied on, the Vees don’t need one or two players to carry them, said Harbinson.
Sexton said he thinks this group of Vees has a chance to win the national championship.
“I know personally I have never been so excited for a junior season in my life,” said Sexton, entering his fifth junior A season.