Game Time: 7:00 pm PDT
Webcast: Flo Hockey
GM & Head Coach: Fred Harbinson
2023-23 : GP 54 50-3-0-1 (1st, BCHL)
2023 Playoffs: BCHL Fred Page Cup champions
Returning Players: 2
2023 BCHL Exhibition
Power Play: 0/0
Penalty Kill: 0/0
Scoring Leader: NA
The Penticton Vees open their 2023 BCHL Exhibition schedule tonight against the Trail Smoke Eaters at the SOEC. The Vees come into the 2023-24 season as back-to-back BCHL Fred Page Cup champions. Penticton successful defended their title in May, sweeping the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the league final.
Fast-forward four months later and the Vees embark on a new season with practically an entire new team. Just two players (Cal Arnott, Thomas Pichette) are back from last year’s squad. It’s a new group, but the Vees did add junior experience over the summer with the additions of Parker Murray (Wenatchee), Andrew Ness (Fort McMurray), Conyr Hellyer (Okotoks), Billy Renfrew (NAHL), and James Fisher (USHL).
With so many new faces, the Vees’ three-game exhibition schedule will be an opportunity for all these new pieces to try and fit together. As always, this time of year breeds a lot of excitement and optimism for the season ahead.
TRAIL SMOKE EATERS
GM & Head Coach: Tim Fragle
2023-23 : GP 20-27-3-4 (8th, Interior)
2023 Playoffs: BCHL Interior Division Quarterfinals (0-4 vs. Penticton)
Returning Players: 12
2023 BCHL Exhibition
Power Play: 1/6 16.7%
Penalty Kill: 3/6 50%
Scoring Leader: Jack DesRuisseaux 3-0-3
Trail already has a pair of games under their belt but still looking for their first win on their six-game exhibition schedule. Tim Fragle’s team opened their exhibition schedule last Sunday, losing 5-4 in overtime to the Vernon Vipers on the road. Wednesday, the Smokies dropped a 6-4 decision at home to the Cranbrook Bucks. After tonight, Trail finishes out their pre-season schedule with three in three days against Powell River, Prince George and Cranbrook starting next Thursday.
The Smoke Eaters have brought eight players back from last year’s team that finished eighth in the Interior Division and lost to the Vees in the first round of the BCHL Playoffs. Veterans on this Trail roster include goaltender Keegan Kendrick, defencemen Alec Whipple and Ethan Warrener, and forwards Josh Schenk, Adam Marshall, Ridge Dawson, Ethan Mann, Rhett Hamilton, Mathieu Cobetto-Roy, Maxim Potvin, and Judah Makway. The Smokies also added junior experience in former Wenatchee Wild players in James Stefanek and Lucas Marshall, along with former Cobourg Cougars’ defenceman Adam Barone.