March 8, 2013, Penticton, BC (ISN) – The 2011-2012 Penticton Vees were named Sport BC 2012 Team of the Year Thursday, at the 47th annual Athlete of the Year Awards in Richmond BC.
This is the first such honour for the Vees. They’re the first British Columbia Hockey League team to win the award since 2009.
Vees Head Coach and GM Fred Harbinson says the award is not just for the Vees to embrace, “Winning such a prestigious award as this should be rewarding not only our players and staff, but is a reflection on our league and the community of Penticton as well.”
The Vees were one of three finalists for the award, as they were grouped with Trinity Western University Men’s Volleyball team and University of British Columbia Women’s Swim team. The award recognizes an amateur team competing in a Sport BC sanctioned league.
Vees Head Scout, Tom Hengen, who was in Richmond to accept the award, echoed Harbinson’s comments, “I would like to give thanks to our dedicated and loyal fans of Penticton. In this modern age of vast entertainment choices, they make that decision to come out and support our team at home and on the road and they truly are our lifeline.”
The 2012 Vees rewrote the record book, setting league and national records en route to their second National Championship and first in 26 years. The Vees set a new Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) consecutive wins record, by rattling off 42 straight victories in the regular season. They also set new records in the BCHL for most wins (54), points (110) and winning percentage (.917) in a regular season. In April, the Vees won their second Fred Page Cup in five years, sweeping the Powell River Kings in the BCHL final. They then went on to defeat the Brooks Bandits in the Doyle Cup and capped off a remarkable season by winning the National Junior ‘A’ Championship, the Royal Bank Cup, in May in Humboldt, Saskatchewan.
The Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards, are Canada’s longest-running sport recognition event and honour’s BC’s best athletes, coaches and officials in 17 different categories.