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GAME PREVIEW: Vees Open 2021 Season With Matchup Against Smoke Eaters

The Penticton Vees (0-0-0-0) are back on the ice for the first time in 136 days to open up their 2021 season as they take on the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday night from the South Okanagan Events Centre.

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2021 REGULAR SEASON VS. TRAIL

Friday, April 2nd @ Trail (7:00 PM)

Thursday, April 8th @ Trail (7:00 PM)

Sunday, April 11th vs. Trail (4:00 PM)

Wednesday, April 14th @ Trail (7:00 PM)

Saturday, April 17th vs. Trail (6:00 PM)

Friday, April 23rd vs. Trail (7:00 PM)

Monday, April 26th @ Trail (7:00 PM)

Thursday, April 29th @ Trail (7:00 PM)

Sunday, May 2nd vs. Trail (4:00 PM)

Saturday, May 8th vs. Trail (6:00 PM)

The Vees have not been in action since November 14th when they hoisted the Okanagan Cup as tournament champions in a 3-2 overtime victory against the Vernon Vipers.  Tristan Amonte and former Vee Matteo Costantini tallied the regulation marker while Jacob Quillan scored in overtime to help Penticton to a 13-1 mark over the course of the 14-game exhibition schedule.

Vees Okanagan Cup Leading Scorers:

Liam Malmquist (1-14-15)

Luc Wilson (5-7-12)

Jacob Quillan (5-5-10)

Devlin O’Brien (7-2-9)

Fin Williams (3-6-9)

The Vees will have a few different looks to their roster from what had been previously played with a few additions in the lineup as well. The most notable of those comes from the blue line with Philippe Chapleau and Grayson Arnott slated to get into their first games in a Vees sweater. Chapleau was acquired in late November and has since earned a scholarship to St. Lawrence University while Arnott was picked up by the Vees in January from the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Penticton will look to pick up where they left in the Okanagan Cup, finishing the tournament with a 13-1 record and outscoring their opponents by a 65-23 margin while winning the exhibition season. The Vees special teams was also on display during the tournament, operating at a 25.5% clip on the power play while flexing their muscle on the penalty kill at 90.2%.

The Trail Smoke Eaters finished the exhibition season at 7-2 while playing against the Cranbrook Bucks and Merritt Centennials. Trail was able to get into 9 preseason games, finishing off against the Centennials in a 7-6 triumph on home ice at the Trail Memorial Centre. Coalson Wolford scored a pair of goals in the game along with former Smoke Eater Connor Sweeney while Cody Schiavon, Chase Dafoe and Zach Park each added singles in the win.

Smoke Eaters Exhibition Leading Scorers:

Noah Wakeford (2-6-8)

Chase Dafoe (5-2-7)

Connor Michaud (3-4-7)

Jaden Senkoe (1-5-6)

Quinn Disher (2-3-5)

The Smoke Eaters announced earlier in the week that Chase Dafoe is the team’s new captain for the 2021 season. The Beverly, Massachusetts native scored 5 goals and 7 points in 9 games during the exhibition season after tallying 11 goals and 17 points in 55 games played with the Smoke Eaters during the 2019/20 season. Dafoe is entering his second full season with the team, playing in 71 career games with the Smoke Eaters over the course of his time in the BCHL.

The Vees and Smoke Eaters will renew hostilities for the first time since January 11th, 2020 as the two teams clash at the SOEC. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM tonight with the game available to listen to on EZ Rock AM 800 as well as on pay-per-view to view on BCHLTV.ca while Shaw Spotlight will also be carrying each of the games from the Penticton Pod.