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Interior Conference All-Star practice notes from Vernon

Are the fans at tonight's BCHL All-Star Game in Vernon going to be treated with a few big hits to go with all the goals? After a bunch of laughs and some shrugs from the players, Vipers defenceman Kyle Bigos stepped up to the plate.

“Absolutely,” Bigos promised when asked whether there would be some solid checks thrown at the Wesbild Centre. Too bad he was laughing at the time.

While Wednesday's nights crowd isn't likely to catch many bruising checks, the wealth of skill on display is bound to make for an entertaining night.

“I always like to keep my eyes open and see if I can learn something,” Bigos says. “Everyone's skill is through the roof, so it's pretty cool to be able to be out there.”

Observers won't have to look for down the league's scoring charts to pick out each conference's All-Stars tonight. For the players, that can mean fourth-line duty instead of first-line minutes, and when it comes to power-play time — well, that probably won't be an issue.

“It's unreal,” Quesnel Millionaires rep Trevor Hertz said of the assembled talent after practicing with his Interior teammates.”We've got a ton of depth and skill and it's a great bunch of guys.”

That's a funny point for All-Star teammates, who otherwise spend the season hoping for the chance to throw their weight into one another. So how do you transition from regular season warriors to friends and linemates?

“It's weird at first,” Prince George Spruce Kings defenceman Wes McLeod said. “But they're all good guys and it's a chance to get together and have some fun.”

“I was coming in thinking that I hate alot of these guys from places like Salmon Arm and Penticton,” Bigos chimed in. “But you all get in the room and it's easy to get along.”

And how does it feel for the four Vipers who get to represent their team in front of their hometown fans?

“It's pretty neat,” Bigos said. “Every day you come out, try to help your team win and entertain the fans. We have so many die-hard fans that you want to put on a great show for them.”

The puck drops on the 2009 BC Hockey League All-Star Game from the Wesbild Centre in Vernon at 7:30 PM on Wednesday night.