The BC Hockey Hall of Fame announced Monday that the 2012 Penticton Vees and 2002 Kootenay Ice will be part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class to be inducted on July 24 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Trail native Travis St. Denis was assistant captain on the 2012 Vees team that enjoyed a historic season, while another Trail product, Steve Makway, helped the WHL Kootenay Ice to a Memorial Cup title. Both will be inducted with their respective teams at the ceremony.
The Vees posted a 54-4-2 record during their 60-game regular season, outscoring their opposition by a mark of 334 to 133. Part of those 54 wins included a 42-game winning streak, which stands as the longest in BCHL, CJHL and North American Junior Hockey history. The team also broke records for points with 110 and wins in a season with 54.
“This is a proud moment for our entire organization and community,” said Vees president, general manager and head coach Fred Harbinson, who has been with the team since the 2007-08 season. “The 2012 players and staff were a part of a magical season that will now be part of the fantastic history of hockey in B.C. This group of young men did so much to create what the Penticton Vees are today.”
The 2012 Vees team featured six of the league’s top-10 scorers in Joey Benik, Mario Lucia, St. Denis, Connor Reilly, Mike Reilly and Steven Fogarty. Their goalie Michael Garteig posted the eighth-best goals-against average all-time with a mark of 1.93 as well as a season-best .927 save percentage and five shutouts.
The team went 12-3 in the BCHL playoffs, defeating the Powell River Kings 4-0 to capture the Fred Page Cup. They went on to beat the AJHL-champion Brooks Bandits in five games to win the Doyle Cup and eventually captured the National Championship at the RBC Cup in Humboldt, Sask.
Ed Chynoweth, meanwhile, started an expansion franchise in Edmonton — the Ice — in time for 1996-97. After two seasons in the shadow of the NHL’s Oilers, the franchise moved to Cranbrook.
The Ice won the WHL championship in its second season in Cranbrook, but stumbled in the 2000 Memorial Cup.
Two years later, the Ice was back under head coach Ryan McGill and with five players from that 2000 team.
Makway, a six-foot-five defenceman, played two full seasons with the Ice and was traded in his third season to the Tri-City Americans. He went on to play more than 15 years of professional hockey.
St. Denis played three seasons with the Smoke Eaters, before finishing his BCHL career in Penticton. He was a standout with Quinnipiac University and is currently with the New York Islanders American Hockey League affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Three players from the 2012 Vees team went on to play in the NHL, including Mike Reilly (currently with the Ottawa Senators), Fogarty (New York Rangers) and Troy Stecher (Vancouver Canucks).
Also being inducted this year are former Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund, former NHLer Eric Brewer, former NHL referee Jay Sharrers, and former Junior B hockey President Ray Stonehouse.