Former Vernon Vipers forwards Dakota Conroy & Demico Hannoun & the Penticton Vees have qualified for the 2015 Royal Bank Cup in Portage, Man after the RBC Cup Host Portage Terriers defeated Spruce Grove 4-2 Thursday afternoon. With the Terriers win both the Vees & Terriers earn a berth at the 2015 National Championship May 9-17 in Portage, Man. This will be Penticton's fourth trip to the National Championship (1985, 1986, 2012 & 2015) winning it in 1986 & 2012. Penticton & Portage will play for the Western Canada Cup in the WCC Final Saturday.
Conroy is in his first season with the Vees. On October 28th 2014 the Vernon Vipers traded the CJHL playing rights of Conroy along with future considerations to the Penticton Vees for forward Liam Finlay. Conroy a member with the Prince Albert Raiders at the time of the trade left the Raiders on October 19th 2014 returned home to Edmonton, Alberta awaiting a trade. Conroy was suspended by the Raiders for leaving the team was eventually released before joining the Vees in mid November.
Dakota Conroy's Player Profile:
Hannoun also in his first season in Penticton played one season in Vernon (2013-14) before being traded to Surrey along with Ben Butcher on June 9th 2014 as the Future Considerations in the Brett Mulcahy trade from January 2014. The Vipers sent forward Chase McMurphy & Future Considerations to Surrey for Brett Mulcahy & Future Considerations on January 6th 2014.
Hannoun played two seasons in Surrey before joining the Vipers. Hannoun was part of the future considerations in the Vipers-Eagles trade at the 2012 BCHL trade deadline that saw Vernon send Adam Tambellini & Michael Roberts to Surrey for future considerations wich at the end of that season were named (Mason Blacklock and Demico Hannoun). In 47 games with the Vipers last season Hannoun collected (15-goals-29-assists-44-points). Hannoun was committed to Michigan Tech for this season was traded from the Eagles to Penticton on August 13th 2014.
Demico Hannoun's Player Profile:
This is in the Penticton Herald Newspaper:
Vees focused on winning West
Apr 30, 2015
by David Crompton
Though they have already qualified for the RBC Cup, the Penticton Vees are still focused on winning the Western Canada Cup championship game Saturday night in Fort McMurray.
The Vees will play in the title game at 6:30 p.m. against the Portage Terriers after both teams amassed 3-1 records in the round-robin segment of the five-team competition. Portage beat Spruce Grove 4-2 on Thursday to clinch their berth in the final.
“We’ve won every banner possible so far this season and we want this one, too,” declared Vees GM/head coach Fred Harbinson. “It’s one more step in the process and it’s our only focus right now.”
The RBC Cup will be played May 9-17 in Portage, Man. Portage has qualified already as the RBC host team.
Melfort and Fort McMurray will play for the second qualifying berth.
Harbinson has been delighted with the performance of his team so far, which included 11-3 and 6-0 wins over Spruce Grove and Fort McMurray, respectively, a 3-2 loss to Portage and a 3-1 win over Melfort on Wednesday.
“We looked a bit tired mentally in the loss to Portage, but that’s a big, experienced team with nine 20-year-olds so that had something to do with it,” said Harbinson. “We took a massive step back in the right direction against a real good Melfort team with a great goaltender.”
The Vees goaltending has been pretty good too, with Canadian Junior Hockey League Top Goaltender Award finalist Hunter Miska surrendering just seven goals in four games.
“He’s the backbone of our team and he’s been great during the tournament,” said Harbinson. “He’s a big reason why we’re playing now and have a good chance to be playing in May.”
Harbinson was surprised Alberta league champs Spruce Grove struggled so mightily and was eliminated after losing all four of its games.
“We felt coming in they were one of the most skilled teams here,” said Harbinson. “We knew Fort Mac would battle in front of their home fans and they came in pretty rested.”
Harbinson said the Vees still have plenty in the tank despite they will have been on the road for 17 of the last 23 days by the time they fly out of Fort McMurray on Monday night.
“The fact we’ve gone with four forwards lines and three defensive pairings all season has been critical for us,” said Harbinson. “Hunter has obviously played a lot but as far as our skaters go we haven’t had to overuse guys.”
Unfortunately for the Vees, they lost 20-year-old forward Cam Amantea with a shoulder injury in Wednesday’s game.
Harbinson said Amantea won’t play this weekend and likely won’t be available for the RBC Cup.
“Cam had a great playoffs for us, been really physical and scored some key goals,” said Harbinson. “We lose two key veterans with Cam and Cody (DePourcq). It means one of our APs (affiliated players) will have to step in the rest of the way.”
Harbinson said the will only have a couple of days at home before flying to Portage on Thursday. The first game of the RBC Cup is Saturday at 12 noon PDT.
The East and Central regional champions round out the five-team field.