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Preview: Vees open season in Langley

Penticton, BC: The Penticton Vees (0-0-0-0) look to start the 2018-19 campaign on the right foot Friday night, and they’ll have to do so against the only team they didn’t record a win against last season, the Langley Rivermen (0-0-0-0).

The Vees wrapped up their exhibition schedule with a 5-1 loss to the Wenatchee Wild at home Saturday night with Ryan Sandelin scoring the lone goal. The loss put the Vees at 2-2 over their four pre-season games.

The Rivermen meanwhile played six exhibition games, finishing with a 5-1 record. 

Penticton’s roster features seven returning players from the 2017-18 season, though they will be without captain Massimo Rizzo and forward Cassidy Bowes who are still recovering from injury and surgery respectively.

Being non-divisional opponents, the Vees and Rivermen matched up only twice last season with Langley taking both games. The first meeting came October 18 in Penticton with the Vees riding nine-game unbeaten streak to open up the season. Braeden Fleming made 36 saves as the Rivermen stole a 2-1 victory.

Nearly four months later on February 17, Langley jumped out to a 4-0 lead midway through the second period before the Vees pulled to within a goal with just over five minutes to play. Langley would hit an empty net as Penticton couldn’t complete the comeback in the 5-3 loss.

Penticton will look to continue their trend of opening night performances as they are 10-1 in the first game of the season since Fred Harbinson took over behind the bench for the 2007-08 season.

With the regular season here, all Penticton Vees games can now be heard on both HockeyTV and EZRock AM 800. The pre-game show for all broadcasts will start 20 minutes before puck drop.