January 10, 2013, PENTICTON, BC (ISN) – Sport BC announced today the 2011-2012 Penticton Vees are one of three finalists for their Team of the Year award, sponsored by Vancouver Based Sports Radio Team 1040.
The Vees are joined by Trinity Western University Men’s volleyball team and the University of British Columbia Women’s swimming team.
The 47th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards will take place at the River Rock Show Theatre on March 7th.
The Vees had a remarkable 2011-2012 season, capped off with their first National Junior ‘A’ Championship in 26 years. The Vees made history during the regular season, as they set a new Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) for consecutive wins record, rattling off 42 straight wins from November 11th, 2011 to March 9th 2012.
The Vees set a new record for wins (54) points (110) and winning-percentage (.917) in the BCHL regular season, compiling a 54-4-0-2 record in 60 games; finishing 26 points ahead of the second closest team in the BCHL standings. At home the Vees were virtually unbeatable, winning 29 of their 30 home games; their only loss an overtime setback. Away from the South Okanagan Events Centre, the Vees were just as strong, setting a new BCHL record for consecutive road wins (21) and finished with 25 wins, another BCHL record.
During the season, the Vees had the best offense in the BCHL, amassing 334 goals in 60 games; an average of over five and a half per game. The Vees finished with seven players in the top 10 in league scoring. Joey Benik placed second with 96 points, with Mario Lucia and Bryce Gervais sharing the league’s scoring title with 42 goals.
In the post-season, the Vees won 12 of their 15 BCHL playoff games en route to capturing their second Fred Page Cup in five years. The Vees then took down the Brooks Bandits (AJHL) in five games to win the final Doyle Cup; advancing to the National Junior ‘A’ Championship, the RBC Cup in Humboldt, Saskatchewan.
After dropping their first two round-robin games (their first back-to-back losses all season) the Vees strung together four straight wins, including a 4-3 come-from-behind victory in the final, to win the 2012 RBC Cup National Junior ‘A’ Championship in May. This was the first National title for Penticton, since winning the then Centennial Cup, as the Penticton Knights, in 1986.
The last junior hockey team to win the award was the Vernon Vipers in 2009. If the Vees are named 2012 Team of the Year, it would be the fourth hockey team to win the award in the last 20 years. Previous winners include Vernon (2009), the Kamloops Blazers (1995) and the Kelowna Spartans (1993).
For more information on the gala, including ticket information, visit www.sportbc.com