A trio of current Okanagan Hockey Academy players made their junior hockey debuts on Thursday night.
OHA Prep White teammates Jordy Bellerive, Griffin Mendel and Brendan Semchuk all got a taste of the junior hockey life as Bellerive and Mendel suited up for the Penticton Vees, while Semchuck saw action with the Vancouver Giants.
Bellerive, 15, made his British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) debut in Penticton’s 10-0 win over the Surrey Eagles. The North Vancouver, BC product currently leads OHA Prep White in scoring with 21 points (12-9-21) in 10 games. Bellerive was a first round, second overall, pick by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
Mendel, 15, picked up two penalty minutes for the Vees in their win over Surrey. The Kelowna, BC product, who is in his second season with OHA, has picked up eight points (2-6-8) in 10 games so far this season with OHA Prep White. Mendel was drafted in the first round, 11th overall, by the Kootenay Ice in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
Semchuk, 15, made his Western Hockey League (WHL) debut on Thursday as the Giants fell 5-2 to the Brandon Wheat Kings in front of 4093 fans at the Pacific Coliseum. The Kamloops, BC product currently sits second in scoring on OHA Prep White with 18 points (12-6-18) in 10 games. Semchuk was taken in the first round, 10th overall, by the Giants at the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
Going to OHA was one of the greatest decisions I have made for my hockey career. OHA prepared me for the next level. Skating, strength, speed, conditioning. I wouldn't be the player and person that I am today if I hadn’t chosen OHA."