Original Published on Jul 26, 2022 at 15:04
By Mark Brett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
To the familiar chant of “Go Vees Go” members of the 2011-12 Penticton Vees were inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame Friday.
Nearly all the members of the team, their billets and families crowded the stage on the surface of the South Okanagan Events Centre to accept the honour in the team category.
“That was a tremendous season and the Penticton Vees have skated into the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame,” said host and Hall of Fame board chair Jim Hughson to the loud cheers of the crowd.
Presenting the plaque to the team was the longtime Vees billet family Michael and Stephanie Brydon.
The squad posted a phenomenal 42-game winning streak, the longest in BC Hockey League (BCHL) Canadian Junior Hockey League and North American Junior Hockey League history.
They finished the regular season with a record of 54-4-2 record going on to win both the Fred Page and Doyle Cups and then the national championship, the RBC Cup.
Vees president, general manager and head coach Fred Harbinson told the audience it was that group of players who established the brand recognition the organization now enjoys.
“I believe this team really put our program on the map, they played the game the right way, we had a little bit of everything. There was no drama, they didn’t come into my room and complain about what role they were playing… they just wanted to play. They cared about each other and it shows by how many guys showed up tonight,” said Harbinson.
“Honestly, it’s really hard to measure what they’ve done for our program, what they’ve done for me as a coach and what they’ve done for the city.”
Speaking on behalf of the players was 2011-12 captain, Penticton-born Logan Johnston.
“This whole group was late to take credit and early to take the blame and that adds up,” said the now 31-year old. “Buying into the whole group, everybody bought in, and sacrificed for that goal.”
Other inductees recognized at what was the previously-cancelled 2020 induction ceremony was Vernon native and former NHLer Eric Brewer and former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund in the player category; retired NHL linesman Jay Sharrers (linesman/referee); Pacific Junior B Hockey League president, the late Ray Storehouse (builder) and the 2002 Memorial Cup champions, Kootenay Ice (team).
This item reprinted with permission from The Herald, Penticton, British Columbia