Two Penticton Vees alums have earned year-end honours in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). Nebraska-Omaha forward Taylor Ward and North Dakota goalie Adam Scheel have both been named to the NCHC All-Rookie Team, the conference announced Tuesday.
Ward, who played three seasons with the Vees, finished with the second-most points in voting for the award. The Kelowna native finished tied for third in team scoring in his freshman year with 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 33 games. Ward led all freshman in scoring in conference play with 19 points in 24 games, which was also good enough for 11th among all skaters. He was a three-time NCHC Rookie of the Week winner and earned Rookie of the Month honours in November. Ward and the rest of his Omaha teammates will take on Minnesota-Duluth this weekend in the NCHC quarterfinals.
In his time with Penticton, Ward played in 162 regular-season games and totaled 77 points (36 goals, 41 assists). His best season came in 2017-18 where he earned the role of assistant captain and scored 21 goals and added 23 assists for 44 points in 46 games. He was also part of the 2016-17 Vees team that won the Fred Page Cup.
In his freshman season, Scheel finished the regular season with an overall record of 13-10-2. He owned the fourth-best goals-against average in the conference at 2.07 (minimum 10 games played) and the sixth-best save percentage at .910. The Lakewood, Ohio native also earned two NCHC weekly honours during the season. North Dakota takes on Denver in the first round of the NCHC playoffs in a best-of-three this weekend.
Scheel backstopped last year’s Penticton team to the Ron Boileau Memorial trophy as the team with the best regular-season record in the BCHL. In his lone season in the league, he had a regular-season record of 29-12-3 and was top-five in goals-against average (2.08) and save percentage (.927) while adding three shutouts. He was also named a BCHL Second-Team All-Star.