Rookie Lukas Sillinger is excited to be part of the Penticton Vees, but also to get the chance to play on a team with older brother Owen for the first time. Growing up, the Sillinger brothers had many mini sticks and street hockey battles. Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

Sillinger Bros. go from street to BCHL

Sillinger brothers Owen and Lukas team up for first time with the Penticton Vees

Whether it is sibling rivalry or revelry, BCHL teams will have a pair of Sillingers to deal with this year.

That is Owen and Lukas suiting up for the Penticton Vees. And, from what Vees head coach-general manager Fred Harbinson has seen so far — the apple doesn’t fall far from their retired NHL’er father, Mike Sillinger.

While talking about rookie Lukas Sillinger, Harbinson said “he has the compete that a Sillinger has.” Lukas developed that characteristic while growing up in Regina battling his siblings, Cole and Vees co-captain Owen.

“All the time we would be in the driveway, be downstairs playing mini sticks,” said Owen. “Just competing. We just love the game of hockey.”

Even mom would get in on the action, standing in net when they were young. Hockey sticks were always in hand for the trio of Sillinger boys — from simply firing pucks to one-on-one battles or inviting friends over for good old fashion street hockey wars.

“Just anything to play the game,” said Owen, who sported a grin after saying he would win all the battles.

Lukas confirmed that Owen did win. Those moments growing up are Lukas’ favourite. They pretended to be NHL players. Lukas picked Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.

What about dad?

“No, I don’t think so,” said Lukas. “We like to battle against him. Four guys in the family that like to compete and have fun.”

Now the Sillinger brothers get an opportunity they have never had, playing together. During their minor hockey careers that never worked out since Owen is three years older than Lukas. As they hit the ice in the BCHL, younger brother Cole will hone his skills with the Okanagan Hockey Academy.

“To finally play with each other and practice with each other is a great thing,” said Lukas.

“It’s different. He’s been really good,” said Owen. “He’s a really skilled forward and I think he will fit in nice in the lineup. He will bring some skill into the team. Some hard work and a lot of focus.”

Owen believes his brother will make a good transition from playing midget hockey to the junior A level. He also said it depends on how the team peforms, but there will be an adjustment to the league’s speed, but his smarts and skill will help him.

Owen said Cole has worked well on a line with Cassidy Bowes and Jack Barnes, son of retired NHL’er Stu Barnes. Lukas is familiar with Jack as the two played on the same Brick team in Edmonton when they were seven.

During training camp Harbinson has liked what he sees in Lukas, saying he has very good vision and a good shot.

“You can see that he is a real smart, heady player,” said Harbinson.

There is also the possibility that the Sillingers play on the same line, however that wages on how deep the sibling rivalry is. Harbinson said he will see how they interact, remembering what it was like when the Reilly brothers played for the Vees.

“The two forwards (Ryan and Connor) begged me to have them play together when I recruited them,” he said. “I realized the two of them would tear each other’s head off if they were on the same line. It didn’t last very long. We will see with these two.”

 

Owen Sillinger, co-captain of the Penticton Vees, is very happy to get the chance to play on the same team as younger brother Lukas. Mark Brett/Western News

Just Posted

Day of Remembrance honours road traffic victims

People killed or seriously injured on Canadian roads remembered Sunday in Kelowna

Community Leader Awards: Coach Dean Kennedy

Kelowna Capital News Leader of the Year series on those that give back to the community

Snowfall warning between Merritt and Hope

As much as 20 centimteres of the white stuff is expected along a stretch of the Coquhialla

Double book launch in Kelowna

Authors Sharon Thesen and Erin Moure read from their new works Thursday at library

Westbank Opry announces Christmas show

West Kelowna music fans are encouraged to bring a food donation to help the less fortunate

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Vernon poet makes poetry prize shortlist

He’s been involved with the craft since the ’70s, gaining recognition along the way

LIVE: BC Liberals kick off leadership debate in Nanaimo

Candidates’ forum is at noon at Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Pen High Lakers make strong showing against KSS Owls

Penticton Lakers fought hard through to final set

Gallery celebrates long history of art appreciation

Gallery Odin, at Silver Star Mountain, is gearing up to open their 16th annual Winter Exhibition

WATCH: Thousands gathering in Abbotsford for Const. John Davidson funeral procession

Celebration of life to follow at Abbotsford Centre at 1 p.m.

Contest offers Big White season package

ENCOMPASS Benefits and Big White partner to support local youth

Warriors end seven-game road slide with win in P.G.

West Kelowna bounces back from lopsided loss to the Vees a night earlier with victory over Kings

Most Read