GM #16 Preview: Vees, Eagles RD 2 on Halloween Night

Oct 31

Venue: South Surrey Arena

Game Time: 7:11pm

Listen: EZ Rock AM 800

Watch: www.fasthockey.com

 

Season Series: September 19th 11-2 Vees, Oct 29th 10-0 Vees, Oct 31st at Surrey

Vees Road Record: 7-1-0-0

Vees Record vs. Mainland Division: 3-0-0-0

Vees Leading Scorer: Lewis Zerter-Gossage 8-11-19

Eagles Home Record: 3-5-0-1

Eagles Record vs. Interior Division: 1-3-0-1

Eagles Leading Scorer: Ben Vikich 5-4-9

 

Trick or Treat: It’s a Halloween affair in Surrey tonight, as the Vees and Eagles finish-off a home and away series at the South Surrey Arena. The Vees overwhelmed the Birds 10-0 back at the SOEC Wednesday. The goal blitz was highlighted by a six-goal second period for the Vees, who hit double-digits for the second straight game against the Eagles. If you may recall, the Vees thumped the Eagles 11-2 back on September 19th at the Bauer BCHL Showcase. This is the first time the Vees are playing on Halloween night since October 31st, 2009, when they took out the Merritt Centennials 4-1 at the SOEC.

They like the Bird: Lewis Zerter-Gossage likes playing the Eagles so far this year. In two games against Surrey, the Montreal native has four goals and seven points. He registered a hat-trick back on September 19th and then followed that up with a three-point night Wednesday. Mitch Newsome likes playing his hometown team. The Surrey product has two goals and five points in two games against the Eagles. He picked up a pair of goals on September 19th to go along with an assist, and he had a couple helpers Wednesday. Rounding out the top three in team scoring against Surrey is Matt Serratore. The Air Force commit has three goals and four points in six periods of action against the Eagles.

Haunted House: The South Surrey Arena has been anything but haunted for the Vees in regular season in the last few years. The Vees have felt quite at home as the visitors, as they’ve posted a 3-1-0-0 record in Surrey in the last five years (Did not travel to Surrey in 2011-2012).The Vees blanked the Eagles 3-0 last season in Surrey on February 8th. Before that it was a 2-1 loss on January 11th, 2013, the blemish in the regular season in Surrey since 2009. Their last two visits after that were wins, 5-1 on January 8th, 2011, and 4-3 on December 19th, 2009.

Shortchanged: Eagles number one goaltender Christian Short was a last-minute scratch Wednesday in Penticton, with a suspected lower-body injury. Short did play Last Sunday in Nanaimo and up to that point had faced the most shots in the BCHL (510) and had faced the most shots on average (42.5). Short is the Eagles backbone, as they rely heavily on their goaltender. The Eagles have scored the fewest goals in the BCHL, averaging just 2.3 goals per-game. Rookie backup Daniel Davidson was shelled for 10 goals against on Wednesday and has an inflated goals-against average of 5.47.

 

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Vees Make Roster Move, Call up Prospects

The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club has traded 17-year-old forward Liam Finlay to the Vernon Vipers for future considerations.

Finlay, who’s committed to the University of Denver, had one goal and five points in 10 games with the Vees this season. The Kelowna, BC, native came to the Vees via the Okanagan Rockets of the BCMML. Last year with the Rockets, Finlay was third in team scoring with 17 goals and 51 points.

With Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost off at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario, the Vees will have a few affiliate players in their line-up this week. Two highly regarded 15-year-olds in Griffin Mendel and Jordy Bellerive from the Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA), made their BCHL debuts Wednesday night in the Vees 10-0 win over Surrey.  Mendel, from Kelowna, BC, is second in team scoring for defenseman on the OHA’s Midget Prep team. The rear-guard has two goals and eight points in 10 games. Bellerive leads the Prep team in scoring with 12 goals and 21 points in 10 games.

Tak Anholt playing with the Yale Hockey Academy / Photo: CSSHL

Tak Anholt playing with the Yale Hockey Academy / Photo: CSSHL

The Vees will also get their first look at Tak Anholt (98), who will be in the line-up on Halloween night as they travel back down to Surrey tomorrow to face the Eagles in the back half of a home and away series. Anholt is committed to the Vees for next season and will be making his BCHL debut. The 16-year-old currently leads the Yale Hockey Academy in scoring, amassing an impressive eight goals and 17 points in just five games in the Canadian Sports Schools Hockey League (CSSHL); Anholt currently sits third in CSSHL scoring.

Mendel will join Anholt in the line-up as the blue-liner is expected to play a second consecutive game for the Vees in the absence of injured Co-Captain Patrick Sexton.

The Vees organization would like to thank Liam Finlay for contributions to the club and wish him all the best in his future endeavors with Vernon.

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Vees Throttle Eagles, Win 11th Straight

Game Recap Oct 29

GAME RECAP 

BOXSCORE 

  • The message Wednesday was not to take your opponent lightly and the Vees made sure of that. From Start to finish, they pressed and were just too much for an overmatched Surrey team. The Vees didn’t cut any corners or cheat themselves last night as it was a pretty consistent effort from period one to period three.
  • It’s now 11 straight wins for the Vees who have yet to drop a game in the month of October. They’re a perfect 7-0-0-0 as the home team this year and have yet to drop a single point at the SOEC, as they’re now 6-0-0-0 and have won all six games in regulation. The Vees success at the SOEC since it opened in 2008 is well documented but the Vees are starting to look dominant at home once again and that reminds me of a certain Vees squad in 2012.
  • Speaking of the SOEC, it’s been a house of horrors for the Surrey Eagles in the last two seasons. In their last two regular season trips to Penticton, the Eagles have been outscored 17-1 by the Vees. 17-1. Last year the Vees thumped the Eagles 7-1 at the SOEC on December 7th, 2013. Have to feel for the Drapluk twins, Joseph and Brian and Darius Davidson, as those three are the only holdovers from that squad. It’s been long bus rides to the Interior and back in the last two years.
  • In this season series, the Vees have now outscored the Eagles 21-2 and are averaging 10.5 goals per game heading into Friday’s season series finale. The Eagles were overwhelmed on September 19th when the Vees spanked them 11-2 and Wednesday was no different. Remember, Wednesday’s win was without Patrick Sexton, Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost; all three played back in September against Surrey.
  • Good starts have been contagious for the Vees. If you include Wednesday they’ve now scored first in nine of their last 11 games. I’ve written about this numerous times but having good starts is so critical at this level. Just look at the Eagles, who’ve now lost four in a row and you can look at their starts as a major reason why. In their last four games, the Eagles have now been outscored 9-1 in the first period. So, a big reason why the Vees are winners of 11 straight is the fact they’re getting off on the right foot. One more time: playing catch up hockey kills you.
  • Wednesday’s 10 goals was the highest output at the SOEC this season and highest since the Vees hung nine on the Chilliwack Chiefs on November 30th of last year. Wednesday was the greatest margin of victory for the Vees since they beat up the Coquitlam Express 11-0 two seasons ago on February 2nd, 2013. Also that was the last time the Vees hit double-digits at the SOEC.
  • Assistant Coach Nick Fuher had been saying they wanted more offensive production from their blue-line heading into Wednesday’s game and the players delivered. The six blue-liners Wednesday combined for two goals and nine points in the win. Gabe Bast scored his first career BCHL goal and Miles Gendron picked up his second goal of the season; both have now come against Surrey. The defense Wednesday was not only good in their own end but they really forced the issue at the other end of the ice. Guys like Gendron and Mike Lee were leading rushes and using their skating ability to create odd-man situations off the rush. The Eagles couldn’t handle the Vees transition game and the defense was a big part of that. If it wasn’t them carrying the puck up ice, it was great first passes from the likes of Jarod Hilderman, Bast or Connor Russell. It’s an overlooked skill but one that gets harped on by coaches and that’s a quality first fast; the ability to put the puck on a forwards stick on the breakout. The Vees defensemen were great at getting the up ice in a hurry. Credit the blue-liners for that.
  • I re-watched Bast’s goal and boy, was that a thing of beauty. He not only roofed the wrist-shot on the short-side but the took the cross-ice pass off his skate and in stride kicked it up to his stick before scoring. Hmm. Pretty.
  • Are Riley Alferd, Jack Ramsey and Matt Serratore checkers anymore? The three each scored in the win, combining for three goals and seven points. Ramsey and Serratore were the 1st and 2nd star and Riley Alferd was the Energy Player of the Game. Fitting. The three were known more for their defense coming into this season but now are making a name for themselves offensively. Alferd and Serratore have set career-highs in goals and Ramsey is starting to heat up as well. The coaching staff told that line to have more confidence in the offensive end, take chances and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
  • Well the two youngest players in the game Wednesday handled themselves quite well. Jordy Bellerive and Griffin Mendel were the Vees two AP’s in place of the absent Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost. So I didn’t think the Vees could have got younger but they did last night, as two 15-year-olds replaced two 16-year-olds. Bellerive and Mendel play next door at the Okanagan Hockey Academy and play on the OHA’s Midget Prep team. Starting with Bellerive, he looked so strong on the puck and didn’t shy away from the physicality. I didn’t see the stat sheet after the game but there’s a good chance Bellerive led the Vees in hits Wednesday or was close to it. He’s offensively gifted as well and he showed that early on. In the first he almost scored his first BCHL goal on his first BCHL shot. Bellerive took the puck around the net and his backhand just squirted wide of the post. He had great vision as well, as he made a couple slick tape-to-tape cross-ice passes that had me questioning his birth certificate. Mendel was solid on the blue-line and played so well in fact the team gave him some penalty-kill time in the second and third period. Mendel didn’t look uncomfortable and wasn’t shying away from mixing it up with the opposition. He’s a smooth player, as everything he does doesn’t look uncontrolled or sloppy. Calm and collected on the blue-line. He took a penalty in the second but I thought it was a veteran play by him. He knew Joseph Drapluk had a step so he leaned on him to slow him down on his way to the net; he denied a scoring chance. It was one of those plays were its sometimes is called a penalty and sometimes not. Impressive debut by him as well.
  • Can’t write a post-game recap without mentioning Hunter Miska. No he wasn’t the busier of the two goalies but he did make some quality saves Wednesday. His best was thwarting Joseph Drapluk on a rebound attempt in tight. Miska originally had trouble with a shot from the slot, as the puck laid in the crease. Drapluk crashed the net and tried to tuck it past Miska on his glove side but the goalie quickly shot out his left pad for a great reactionary save. Miska now has back-to-back shutouts, as his last win was a 1-0 blanking of Vernon last Saturday. Miska now hasn’t allowed a goal in 127 minutes and thirty-nine seconds of action. The last puck that beat him was back on Thursday, when Brogan O’Brien scored at 12:21 of the third period for Prince George. His numbers are off the charts too. If you look at goalies with a minimum of five games played, Miska is first in all major statistical categories. He leads in wins (11) goals-against average (1.51), save-percentage (.944) and now shutouts (3). Don’t try me with the old “he has a really good team in front of him” line. You could argue that if his numbers weren’t superb across the board. Miska is the best goalie in the BCHL right now. Case closed.
  • Yes they played a struggling opposition but it’s still good to see the power-play get going. The Vees were 3-3 on the man-advantage and that will instill some confidence for the power-play personnel. It doesn’t matter who you play, it’s still impressive to bat a thousand in a game. Remember, this all happened without two key power-play guys in Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost. After Wednesday’s power-play clinic, the Vees PP went from 15 to 19 percent. Hopefully that performance kick-starts their power-play.
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GM #14 Preview: Vees Look for 11 against Surrey

Oct 29

Game Time: 7pm

Listen: EZ Rock AM 800

Watch: Fasthockey.com 

Season Series: September 19th: 11-2 Vees – October 29th at Vees – October 31st at Eagles

Vees Home Record: 6-0-0-0

Vees Record vs. Mainland Division: 2-0-0-0

Vees Leading Scorer: Tyson Jost + Lewis Zerter-Gossage 7-9-16

Eagles Road Record: 0-3-0-2

Eagles Record vs. Interior Division: 1-2-0-1

Eagles Leading Scorer: Ben Vikich 5-4-9

 

Streaking: The Penticton Vees look for their eleventh straight win Wednesday night when they host the Eagles at the SOEC. The Vees won their tenth in a row with a 3-1 victory in Salmon Arm last Sunday afternoon.  The wins haven’t been lay ups, as six of the last seven Vees victories have been decided by just one goal if you take away empty-netters. All 10 wins have come against teams with records of .500 or better. Tonight is the first time this season the Vees will have played a team with a sub .500 record.

Reinforcements: The Vees will be missing three regulars from their line-up tonight. Patrick Sexton is still out with an upper-body injury but inching closer to a return this weekend. Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost will miss the Vees next seven games, as the two 16-year-olds take part in the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia, Ontario. With those two out, the Vees will have a pair of highly regarded 15-year-olds in the line-up. Jordy Bellerive will play on a line with Steen Cooper and Josh Laframboise and Griffin Mendel will be paired with Gabe Bast on the blue-line. Bellerive and Mendel play for the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Midget Prep team. Bellerive leads the team in scoring and Mendel is second in scoring by defensemen.

Houdini like Effort: Tonight’s game can be considered a “trap game” for the Vees, as they’re playing a non-divisional opponent who is 17 points behind them in the standings. However, the Vees can’t take this Eagles team lightly, as they’ve shown they can play the role of spoiler. Two out of their three wins have come against Langley and Salmon Arm and two of their last four losses have been decided by just one-goal.  The Eagles have some weapons up front in the Likes of Chase McMurphy, Darius Davidson and Joseph Drapluk. The Vees will have to channel their inner Houdini

No Shortcomings in Net: One bright spot for the Eagles this year has been the play of starting goaltender Christian Short. The Woodbridge, Ontario product has faced the most shots in the BCHL coming into Wednesday’s action. Short has faced 510 shots in 12 game, which are 59 more shots than the next closest goaltender. His workload has been staggering, as he’s seen 42.5 shots on average through a dozen starts. Despite his team giving up 4.5 goals against per game, Short has maintained a respectable .900 save-percentage.

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Vees 2nd in CJHL Rankings

image

 The Portage Terriers of the MJHL, had their 14-game winning streak to start their season snapped by their closest rival in the standings, the Winkler Flyers, while the Winnipeg Blues sit six points back of Winkler, with three games at hand. A great start for the Terriers, but a close examination of the ten leagues in the CJHL shows a tremendous amount of parity across Canada.

 

In the BCHL, the Penticton Vees are rolling along at the top of the standings on a ten-game winning streak, but an old rival is making a statement as the Nanaimo Clippers have moved in to second place overall, and hold a solid lead atop the Island Division. The Spruce Grove Saints have snuck past the Camrose Kodiaks in the AJHL, and Okotoks Oilers are just a single point behind the Kodiaks.

 

After a strong start, the SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds have lost twice and have been passed by the Kindersley Klippers.  The Melfort Mustangs are also moving along and are tied with the Notre Dame Hounds.  Meanwhile in the SIJHL, the Fort Frances Lakers continue their solid play, and in the NOJHL, the Soo Thunderbirds are on an 11-game winning streak and have pulled into the lead of the West Division.

 

The Trenton Golden Hawks of the OJHL continue their strong play and lead the overall standings, but are now seeing the Aurora Tigers and the Georgetown Raiders make their move to catch them. The Carleton Place Canadians look to run away with the CCHL regular season title, but the Ottawa Jr ‘A’ Senators continue their pursuit, but have a lot of work to do.

 

The Cougars de Sherbrooke continue to dominate the standings of the LHJQ, but are being tracked closely by the College Francais de Longueuil The Woodstock Slammers are in command of the MHL, while the Dieppe Commandos, and the Pictou County Weeks Crushers both had strong weeks.

 

Top 20 Rankings

1.Portage Terriers (MJHL) (1)
2.Penticton Vees (BCHL) (3)
3.Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (4)
4.Notre Dame Hounds (SJHL) (2)
5.Woodstock Slammers (MHL) (6)
6.Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (7)
7.Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL) (5)
8.Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (14)
9.Cougars de Sherbrooke (LHJQ) (15)
10.Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (12)
11.Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) (13)
12.Winkler Flyers (MJHL) (HM)
13.Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (10)
14.Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL) (17)
15.Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL)
16.Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) (11)
17.Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (18)
18.Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (HM)
19 .Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (19)
20.College Francais de Longueuil (LHJQ) (20)             

Honourable Mention: Battlefords North Stars (SJHL), Steinbach Pistons (MJHL), Orangeville Flyers (OJHL), Pictou County Weeks Crushers (MHL), Dieppe Commandos (MHL) 

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Barry Stars, Vees Stingy, Win 10th Straight

Game Recap Oct 26

GAME RECAP 

BOXSCORE 

  • Hey, how about the rookie Brendan Barry? He was just making his third start and first in sixteen days but you wouldn’t have known it on Sunday afternoon. He looked very calm and collected in net, almost as if a bit of Hunter Miska had rubbed off on him. Barry didn’t have much work in the first, just three shots, but he was thrust into action in the final two periods. He stopped 22 of 23 shots in the final forty-minutes, including 10 of 11 in the third when the ‘Backs were pressing. The only goal that beat Barry was on the power-play and it was some bad puck luck. The point shot went wide of the net but it bounced back off the end boards and then it was banked in off his pad; he had no chance. He made some big saves on Sunday afternoon, two great ones off of Karl El-Mir. One was him going post-to-post to stuff El-Mir with the pad at the side of the net and then again he foiled El-Mir in the third. The third period save was his best, as he got a shoulder on El-Mir’s one-timer from the front porch; it was a bang-bang play. Barry was confident, squaring up to shots and was very good at tracking shots through traffic. Remember, this Salmon Arm team was off on Saturday and looking for some revenge on the Vees after being swept by them earlier this month. Barry was a major reason why the Vees pushed their win streak to 10.
  • Sunday and Saturday were so similar for the Vees on how they played out. Sunday the Vees had a great start, as they didn’t look like a team playing their second game in less than 24 hours. They in fact looked like the team that had the day off Saturday, as the out shot the Silverbacks 11-3 in the first and were unfortunate not to have a lead after the first. Their best chance came from a player on one of their best lines Sunday. Cam Amantea, getting back into the swing of things after off-season surgery, was robbed by Angus Redmond midway through the frame. Amantea took the cross-ice pass on the weak side but Redmond came across quickly and got his blocker on Amantea’s attempt. Cam missed the first month of the season and still is working off the rust. A couple of weeks from now Amantea probably buries that chance. But the Vees looked great in the first, as they had their feet going and spent a lot of time in the Salmon Arm end; they worked hard all afternoon.
  • What really helped the Vees on Sunday was their transition game and that was working because they were skating so well. When the puck was in their own end early on, they didn’t spend a lot of time trying to get it out. It was clean first passes and that got them going through the neutral zone. Yes, the Vees had some hiccups in their end later in the game but I thought they were pretty tidy for the most part. It was  short exchanges with the defensemen before they were hitting someone in stride between the blue-lines. Speed kills.
  • Lets touch on the defensive prowess of the Vees again. Another night and another stingy performance. The Vees have now surrendered two or less goals in six straight games and they’ve only allowed three goals against in two of their last 10 games. The Vees 25 goals against is a BCHL best and the next best team has allowed 11 more goals. This team isn’t giving the opposition a sniff. They’re making it extremely difficult for opposing teams to get to the middle of the ice. Right now, the Vees are forcing everything to the outside-minus one or two exceptions. When you’re shooting from outside of the face-off dots, it’s going to be hard to score.
  • If I was going to mention good habits, the Vees starts have been very encouraging during their 10 game winning streak. After today’s game, they’ve scored first in eight of their last 10 games. That’s huge, as catch up hockey can be so taxing and I don’t know if the Vees could pull out a win today if they were trailing early. If you’re handing teams leads, you’re going to have to work twice as hard just to get back on even terms and that will wear on you. The Vees are doing a great job at putting themselves in a great position to succeed, game after game.
  • Riley Alferd loves playing in Salmon Arm this year. He scored his seventh of the year early in the third, which turned out to be the game-winning goal. He now has scored three goals in his last two visits to Salmon Arm. Alferd scored twice back on October 4th, in the Vees 4-3 double overtime win. His line has been playing great, as he, Matt Serratore and Jack Ramsey are annoying to play against. Last night they were keeping guys like Tomas Aldworth and Liam Coughlin off the scoresheet and this afternoon it was Shane Danyluk, Karl El-Mir and Taro Hiroese getting the treatment. Their defensive abilities have been well documented but they’re becoming a line that needs to be taken seriously in the offensive end. Just look at the ability Alferd showed on his goal today. He gloves down a clearing attempt, carves his way down the right side of the zone, then cuts to the middle, before tucking the puck around Angus Redmond as he was falling to a knee. With his goal today, Alferd has matched his goal output from last season and is well on his way to surpassing his point totals from last year.
  • I mentioned it earlier but the Vees have something going with Amantea, Cody DePourcq and Mitch Newsome. Assistant Coach Steve Cawley had high praise for the three in the post-game show and raved about Newsome’s play. He thought Newsome was maybe over thinking things earlier this year but the rookie’s confidence has grown substantially. Newsome is a north-south guy who always seems to make the smart play and that’s what his line is all about. He, Amantea and DePourcq saw a lot of ice time today and it was justly rewarded. The trio spent a lot of time in the offensive end and it wasn’t liked they were staying clear of the dirty areas. They rolled up their sleeves.
  • Speaking of high praise, Coach Cawley also had positive reviews for Jarod Hilderman, who he thought had one of his best games on the blue-line. Hilderman was physical and made a lot of smart decisions with and without the puck Sunday. He wasn’t given easy minutes either, as he spent a lot of time battling Bryden Marsh and Shane Danyluk. Those two are physical forwards who aren’t shy about leaning on guys. Hilderman was in the thick of it Sunday, usually gutting involved out front and behind the net and in the corners. He did a lot of heavy lifting when the slack needed to be picked up.
  • What it comes down to and this was discussed by Head Coach Fred Harbinson pre-game, is the Vees aren’t being carried by one particular player or players. They’re the best team in the BCHL without a single player in the top 10 in league scoring. Entering today’s action, Tyson Jost was the only Vee in the top 20 in scoring. It’s not just one line doing everything this month, as on any given night, someone is stepping up and making contributions.
  • On that note it’s great to see the line of Josh Laframboise, Steen Cooper and Patrick Newell get on the scoresheet. The three have had their dry patches of late and today was a real strong outing. Laframboise setup Newell in the second for the games first goal after some great fore-check pressure. That goal was Newell’s first since October 8th, so you can bet that was a big weight off his shoulders. Hopefully that line can build on today’s performance heading into next week’s slate of action. They’ll be counted on to produce.
  • The second line will need to step up, as the Vees will now be short Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost for the next seven games. The two leave Tuesday for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge which starts November 2nd, in Sarnia, Ontario. No doubt they’ll be missed, considering their impact but the other players know they’ll need to step up and fill the void. I thought I saw some of that today and hopefully that rolls into next week.
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GM #14 Preview: Quick Turnaround; Looking for 10 in a Row

Oct 26

LISTEN LIVE 

WATCH 

This comes to you from the Vees bus as we make our way to Salmon Arm this afternoon. The Vees have a quick turnaround today after a 1-0 win last night at home against Vernon. Today’s puck drop is 21 hours after last night’s face-off; ouch.

This will be the Vees third game in four days and to compound things, the last four days has featured plenty of bus travel. The old iron lung!

The Vees have made two tweaks to their line-up ahead of this afternoon’s tilt with Salmon Arm. Brendan Barry will be making his third start of the season and first in five games. The 17-year-old is 2-0-0 on the year and is coming off a 4-3 win against West Kelowna on October 10th. Liam Finlay, who sat out last night, draws back into the line-up in place of Mitch Newsome. The line-up switch is no indictment of Newsome’s play but rather a testament to the Vees depth; they got to get guys in. Finlay takes Newsome’s spot on the right-wing on the “fourth-line” with Cody DePourcq and Cam Amantea.

The Vees are looking for their 10th win in a row and their third straight against the Silverbacks. The Vees started this win streak against Salmon Arm back on October 3rd and 4th when they swept a home-and-home series.. This is the second straight game in Salmon Arm between these two, as they last played at the Shaw Centre on Saturday, October 4th. Demico Hannoun, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, scored the winner in double-overtime on a penalty-shot.

Salmon Arm had Saturday off after winning 7-4 Friday at home against Trail. That salvaged a split in their home-and-home series this week with the Smoke Eaters. Trial won at home 4-1 back on Wednesday. The win may have come at a price however for Salmon Arm, as Taylor Maruya had to leave the game Friday after he hit his head on the ice after a tussle with Trail’s Harlan Orr. It was a scary moment has Maruya lost his helmet during the bout and then fell back on his head. Hopefully he is recovering well.

Though the ‘Backs may be without Maruya they still have Andrew Farny and he’s had quite the start to his sophomore season. The defenseman is tied with the Vees Dante Fabbro in the scoring race amongst defensemen in the BCHL. Each have 14 points but Farny has the tie-breaker with six goals to Fabbro’s three. Five of Farny’s six goals have come on the power-play.

Speaking of the power-play the Vees will have to be weary of the Salmon Arm man-advantage. The ‘Backs own the third best power-play in the BCHL, which is operating a hair over 28 percent; they’ve scored five power-play goals in their last three games. Last time in Salmon Arm, the Vees made things hard on themselves with penalties and that’s how Salmon Arm ignited their comeback from two goals down.

The Vees coaching staff will be stressing five-on-five play, especially being the last game of a busy week. Tired legs can lead to tired minds and that can lead to penalty trouble. The Vees need to play smart as much as they need to play hard.

It’s been an up and down month of October for the ‘Backs as they’re 3-3-0-1 since they last played the Vees on October 4th but they’ve won two of their last three games.

 

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