Post-Game (Pre-Season): Vees 8 Cents’ 1

AUDIO:

Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving

Hunter Miska

GAME RECAP 

  • Speed + Work Ethic on Full Display: Two points the Vees coaching staff stressed this morning during a team meeting. The Vees did use their speed throughout this game to create chances with their transition and fore-check pressure. Their work ethic helped create turnovers in the Merritt end, as they were hard on pucks, pressured the Cents’ defensemenand that resulted in errant passes and turnovers that they capitalized on. Merritt had a hard time handling the aggressive fore-check and puck pursuit the Vees had. Plenty of time the Cents’ were guilty of throwing pucks up the middle or losing them on the wall; credit the Vees for that. When Merritt pressured, which wasn’t too often, the Vees always had numbers back and bodies in front of the puck taking away shooting lanes or just simply having a body in the way. The defensive transition was excellent too, as the Vees forwards caught Merritt quite a few times at or near the Vees blue-line. Nice to see the team playing that 200 foot game this early.
  • Kids & Vets Showing Up: The Vees had six different players score and 10 registered at least a single point. Of those six who scored, two are rookies and three are new to the team. Three rookies recorded points and all four lines scored at least one goal. One new line that had a lot of chemistry tonight was the trio of Lewis Zerter-Gossage, Tyson Jost and Liam Finlay. Jost and Finlay’s chemistry goes back to last year being teammates at the Major Midget level. Zerter-Gossage however fit right in with the other two and the three were buzzing all night. After it was all said and done, the three combined for two goals and six points. Nice to see Cody DePourcq, Jack Ramsey and Steen Cooper score. Great to see a guy like Ramsey score two goals and right where he should be scoring: on top of the crease. Cooper had a snipe on a breakaway whilst short-handed in the second. The Vees will need more goals out of Ramsey and Cooper this year, and maybe tonight can act as a springboard for the regular season. DePourcq had some great chemistry with Patrick Newell and Demico Hannoun and the three teamed-up for a pretty tic-tac-toe goal in the second.
  • “Special,” Special Teams Performance: Great to see the power-play click like it did tonight. Officially the Vees were 4-13 tonight with the man-advantage (they almost spent half of the game on the power-play). Keep in mind a handful of those power-plays came late and with the game well decided. At one point the Vees were 3-5 with the man-advantage and they did score on their first power-play back in the early stages of the first. The “peeper” had plenty of good looks and zone time and that will make the coaches happy. The PK was 6-6 with a short-handed goal, so you can’t get much better than that. Well, the coaches would say they need to shave that total in half but they must be happy with the penalty-kill. Merritt didn’t score on the power-play because the Vees did such a good job at closing off shooting lanes and stepping in front of shots. They also did a much better job of protecting the area in front of their net. Merritt didn’t really get an opportunity from a prime scoring area because the Vees defense was boxing out so well.
  • At Least they Looked Good: A forgettable performance for Luke Pierce’s charges no doubt but their new dark jerseys looked sharp. Gone is the Ottawa Senators template for their red jersey, as they’ve adopted the Montreal Canadiens design this year. The red with black and white striping looks great and even better in photos (see above). That jersey against the Vees own “traditional” look, was jersey match up in heaven for jersey nerds (me).
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Pre-Season GM #4: Vees vs Cents’

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WATCH  (Fasthockey PPV)

LISTEN (Internet Audio Stream)

*Broadcast starts at 5:15pm PST; puck drop 5:30pm PST

PENTICTON VEES LINE-UP

MERRITT CENTENNIALS LINE-UP

The Penticton Vees and Merritt Centennials wrap-up their respective BCHL pre-season schedules this afternoon at the SOEC. These two Interior Division foes will meet seven times in the BCHL regular season but today is the first opportunity for the two teams to measure up with one another.

The Vees come in with a 1-2-0-0 record in exhibition, splitting a home-and-home set with the West Kelowna Warriors last weekend. The Cents’ are 3-1-0-0 in exhibition play, their only loss coming last Saturday, September 6th, a 4-2 setback in Trail. They posted wins of 6-5 (OT) AND 7-2 over West Kelowna in a back-to-back set during the September long weekend, and outscored Trail 7-5 last Friday in the first of two against the Smokies.

After today, both teams open the BCHL regular season at the Bauer Showcase in Chilliwack September 19th-21st.

Broadcast Notes: Trevor Miller and myself will have the call of this afternoon’s game on Fasthockey and mixlr.com starting at 5:15pm. Guests include both Fred Harbinson and Merritt’s Luke Pierce in the pre-game show. In the intermissions I chat with Hunter Miska and Calgary Flames GM and former Penticton Knight Brad Treliving.

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Odds & Ends

 

Hunter Miska and the Vees preparing for Merritt tomorrow

Hunter Miska and the Vees preparing for Merritt tomorrow

Time to dust off the keyboard and pass along a few updates on the Penticton Vees as they gear up for the regular season on September 19th. The Vees wrap-up their exhibition schedule tomorrow afternoon when they host the Merritt Centennials at the SOEC for a 5:30pm face-off. To get you set for tomorrow’s tilt with the Cents’ here’s a few links to get you primed.

Tyson Jost, 16, is embarking on his first BCHL season and he say’s he owes a lot of his success to his work ethic. Where does he get that from? His mother Laura of course. Emanuel Sequeira from the Penticton Western News interviewed Jost about his hockey journey. READ HERE 

Speaking of work ethic, Cody DePourcq busted his butt (surprise, surprise) this summer in preparation of his fourth season with the Vees. He says he leaned a few things but rubbing elbows with a few pros. READ HERE 

Want to get the 411 on the Vees opponent this Sunday? Check out Ian Webster’s article in the Merritt Herald about the Cents’ whittling down their roster ahead of Sunday’s exhibition finale. READ HERE 

The Centennials are almost set roster wise for the upcoming season, as they have 20 of a maximum 22 players listed on their roster page on the BCHL website. VIEW HERE 

For everything else Centennials related, make sure to bookmark Dustin Scafe’s Cents’ blog. VIEW HERE 

BCHL Quick Hits:

The defending BCHL Champion Coquitlam Express unveiled a new look today. The logo remains the same but the Express have swapped out the red/black/white palate for blue/yellow/white. The swap comes to fall in line with Coquitlam minor hockey who have similar colours. Take a look HERE 

Glad to see this returning, as the BCHL, Subway and the newly minted TSN radio Vancouver have teamed up to air the weekly radio show, “Subway BCHL This Week.” Throughout the regular season, every Saturday morning from 9:30am to 10am host Jeff Paterson will talk all things BCHL. The first episode was this morning on TSN 1410 and featured, BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale, Merritt forward Daniel Nachbaur, Coquitlam coach Barry Wolff and Cowichan captain Kyle Horsman. Missed it? Check out the TSN 1410 podcast on their WEBSITE 

 

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Vees on the Other Side of a Comeback

GAME RECAP 

  • Saturday’ started a lot like Friday, as the West Kelowna Warriors grabbed the lead courtesy of Jonathan Desbiens (his name will pop up a few times in this post). The goal was a result of the Vees not boxing-out Desbiens down by the net, as he jumped all over a rebound off a shot from the blue-line. Simple mistake this time of year, as the coaches are still teaching positional stuff and the first goal showed there is still more work to be done. Hey, that’s why there’s training camp and pre-season games.
  • That goal actually seemed to focus the Vees, as they turned up the pressure in the Warriors end and eventually tied it up five-minutes later. The tying goal came after some nice work by the line of Liam Finlay, Mitch Newsome and Neil Robinson. Finlay and Robinson broke into the zone on a odd-man rush but the play never materialized. However, Finlay alertly got the puck back and quickly fired it up to the blue-line. The biscuit found its way to Gabe Bast, who on a savvy play, intentionally fired a low slap-shot allowing Newsome to redirect it past Scott Patton.
  • Bast and Connor Russell were on the ice for the first goal against but they rebounded nicely after that, as from there on out they were arguably the Vees steadiest defensive pairing. Both looked pretty good in their own end throughout the game and I didn’t notice them and I mean that in a good way; steady.
  • Lewis Zerter-Gossage continues to impress. He grabbed the lead for the Vees late in the first when he and Jack Ramsey teamed up for another goal. Saturday it was Zerter-Gossage turning goal-scorer and Ramsey turning play-maker. They connected for a goal Friday too. Nice vision by Ramsey to thread the needle and find Zerter-Gossage up the middle and behind the defense. Zerter-Gossage let got a well placed wrist-shot just inside the post on the far blocker-side of the Warriors Scott Patton.
  • After an early goal against, credit to the Vees for turning it on in the first and coming out of the period with a 2-1 lead on the road.
  • Things opened up in the second period as both teams started to trade chances. The game really had a good flow in the middle period, as the two team were going back and forth from one end to the other. Liam Finlay padded the Vees lead early in the middle frame and he showed some good hockey IQ on the play. Finlay used the defender as a screen and from the slot, fired a low shot off the base of the post and past Scott Patton on the blocker side.
  • It looked good for the Vees, up 3-1 early in the second and creating plenty of opportunities. But that’s the main point I take away from the loss, was the inability of the Vees to finish off the Warriors. They had their chances, there was plenty of them in the second but they just couldn’t get that one extra goal to put the game  out of reach. Credit the Warriors for not allowing the Vees to get a three-goal lead, as Scott Patton and their defense found a way to keep them within striking distance.
  • One significant momentum shift in the game was the quick response by the Warriors after the Vees third goal. Took them all of 32 seconds to make it a one-goal game again. How much different would the game have looked, if the Vees could have nursed that 3-1 lead longer? Anyways, Brett Mennear went cross-bar and down over Barry’s shoulder after a nice setup by Neil Aird. West Kelowna quickly snuffed out any momentum the Vees would have had and it seemed to turn the tide in their favour.
  • Another key moment in the second was a big breakaway save by Scott Patton on Cody DePourcq. With the Vees up 3-2, DePourcq was sent in on a breakaway from the blue-line but Patton denied the Vees forward with a nice right-pad save. Now, if that had gone in, we would be looking at a 4-2 Vees lead late in the second. Big save by their goaltender to keep his team close and that save proved to be key.
  • Before the clock ran out on the second, Jonathan Desbiens struck again, as he turned on the jets and broke down the right-wing with serious speed. He caught the Vees defender flat-footed and put his shot upstairs on the short-side over Barry’s glove with just 12 seconds remaining in the second. A bit of a deflating moment for the Vees, as they were 12 seconds away from taking a 3-2 lead into the second intermission. Just going back to that DePourcq breakaway, we’re talking inches away from a two goal swing. 3-3 instead of 4-2.
  • The third period followed a similar script to the second, as again it had a good pace to it and both teams skated up and down the ice. Just like in the second, the Vees had plenty of chances to reclaim the lead, as they were constantly around the Warriors net. Numerous times in the third saw the Vees would break in off the rush, get a good shot off, create a promising rebound but not able to capitalize. They were around the net a lot, pucks bouncing and dancing in the crease on near misses or failed tap-ins but they just couldn’t get it to settle and go in. A large reason for the frustration in the scoring areas was the fact the Warriors collapsed all five players between the dots in their own zone. Time and again, they threw everyone in front of the puck, as there was always a wall of defenders between the puck and the goal.
  • West Kelowna broke the deadlock late in game and it involved some puck luck. Kyle Marino let go a point-shot that was inadvertently tipped a Vees defenseman and up and over Barry’s blocker with just over four-minutes left in the third. Tough break. 70 seconds later, Desbiens completed the hat-trick after he chipped the puck past the last Vees defender at the West Kelowna blue-line. Once on the breakaway he quickly snapped it over Barry’s blocker who showed poke-check. It took just 70 seconds to go from possible overtime to a two-goal Warriors win.

 

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Pre-Season: Vees-Warriors Round 2

Cherie Morgan Photography

Cherie Morgan Photography

The Penticton Vees and West Kelowna Warriors play the back half of a weekend home-and-home set at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna tonight. The Vees took care of business on home ice Friday, scoring a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Tribe.

The Vees have made a few line-up changes for tonight’s contest. Neil Robinson, celebrating his 19th birthday and Connor Russell draw into the line-up. The Vees will be scratching Cam Amantea, Demico Hannoun and Mike Lee. Brendan Barry gets the start in goal, after Hunter Miska stopped 23 of 25 Friday in the win.

I will have an audio-only broadcast tonight, starting at 6:45pm and you can listen HERE. Earlier in the week, there was grumblings the Warriors were going to do a Fasthockey PPV broadcast and if that’s the case, I’ll be supplying my audio for that as well. I’ll have another post-game wrap tonight with audio from the coaching staff and players.

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Pre-Season: Vees Rally to Slip Past Tribe

Cherie Morgan Photography

Cherie Morgan Photography

(Lewis Zerter-Gossage navigating his way through traffic)

GAME RECAP 

POST-GAME AUDIO

Assistant Coach Nick Fuher 

Lewis Zerter-Gossage

  • Can you chalk up a “character” win in pre-season? If not, the Vees came the closest as they possibly could. Friday was the first pre-season game for this group and at home; there were some nerves early. They shook those off as the game grew older and by the third period you could see the chemistry start to build. As the saying goes, “It’s not how you start but how you finish.”
  • Excuse me for one second as I put my Vees-coloured glassed on, but despite going down 2-0 in the first, the Vees didn’t play all that bad. The first goal against came while they were down a man and it was the result of a juicy rebound. Smart by Liam Blackburn to find that soft spot in coverage and skate into a position to corral the rebound off the pad of Hunter Miska. The second Warriors goal was the result of some rotten luck for Miska. He makes a great first save but the rebound trickles down his paraphernalia and gets lost in his feet. Kylar Hope was in the perfect spot, as he was the first to spot the loose biscuit and he poked it over the line to double West Kelowna’s lead. West Kelowna was an opportunistic bunch in that opening twenty-minutes. Hey, the Warriors had good spells in the Vees zone but it wasn’t like they were up a pair and about to run the Vees out of the building. You had a feeling going into the second the Vees were going to get it going.
  • Before those two West-K tallies, Lewis Zerter-Gossage almost and I mean ALMOST, put the Vees ahead early. He found himself open in the right-circle and his shot got underneath Andy Desautels arm but it hit the fat part of the post on the far-side and stayed out. Zerter-Gossage would make more noise later.
  • What else did I like in the first? Tyson Jost looked to have eyes in the back of his helmet at times. There was a couple of instances where he fired crisp tape-to-tape passes in high traffic areas. Two stood out to me and both were to Cody DePourcq and both were great scoring chances. On both occasions the puck jumped over DePourcq’s stick, because I think even he was a bit surprised at the accuracy and strength of Jost’s passes. One play had Jost circling up to the blue-line before spinning a cross-body pass back down-low to DePourcq in the left-circle, who got crossed up nullifying a one-timer chance. The other was on the Vees lone power-play in the first where Jost fired a cross-crease bullet to DePourcq at the back-post but that too just didn’t click. I kept putting stars besides Jost’s name on Friday, as he seemed to be always doing something.
  • The other 16-year-old had some great moments too. Dante Fabbro looked confident carrying the puck and had a couple of nice forays into the West Kelowna zone. He’s such an effortless skater, in the sense he’s off and running in just a couple of strides. Once he gets more comfortable, he’ll be a guy that will be a handful once he finds open ice.
  • I also had a few stars besides Gabe Bast’s name. He was a noticeable physical presence on the Vees blue-line. He wasn’t shy about throwing his weight around and played tough around his net. On more than one occasion he was leaning on guys as he would angle them to the boards or he was putting a shoulder into someone just off the crease. One play in the first that caught my eye was when he was caught flat-footed by Adam Osczevski. Osczevski  looked to have a clear-cut breakaway but Bast had great closing speed and muscled Osczevski off the puck just enough, to snuff out any scoring chance. I keep getting reminded of Troy Stecher when I see Bast play.
  • Riley Alferd, who only had one assist tonight, was more than deserving of his first star recognition. He had like what? 45 scoring chances? He hit two posts and setup that Mitch Newsome breakaway goal, that seemed to turn the tide. He was everywhere tonight and he had something going with line-mates Jack Ramsey and Zerter-Gossage. The three combined for a goal and three points. Alferd had a redirect that looked to glance off the outside of the post and then he danced down the middle of the Warriors zone, before clanging his wrist-shot off the cross-bar. Is there anyone who’s been more snake-bitten than Alferd going back to last season?
  • Nice to see, what is penciled in as the Vees top-line, generate the game-winning goal. Patrick Newell and Demico Hannoun played pitch-and-catch down the right-wing before Newell wired a wrist-shot for the game-winner. Hannoun had a few bursts down the right-wing that made West Kelowna sweat in this one.
  • That Newell wrist-shot was sure deceptive. Shot off his stick like a rocket.
  • That third Vees goal doesn’t happen without Steen Cooper. Officially he didn’t get an assist but he practically manufactured the goal with a superb back-check just inside his own blue-line. Cooper wrestled the puck away from the Warriors forward and quickly threw it up ice to Newell, and he and Hannoun took it the rest of the way. That play by Cooper was a payoff from the time he spent in the gym this summer. He packed on more muscle and that extra strength came in handy.
  • So, Lewis Zerter-Gossage. He was buzzing tonight. The one play everyone was taking about was his between-the-legs scoop shot he pulled on his breakaway rush in the second. He streaked down the right-wing, stepped around the defender and as he cut across the goal, he pulled the puck back between his legs. It was identical to what Tomas Hertl pulled off last year with San Jose. Zerter-Gossage was stopped and it was only because of a f a glove save by Any Desautels. That was an eye-popping move but just as good was the save to keep Zerter-Gossage off the highlight reel. “LZG” did setup the game-winner, as he burned the defender wide on the left-wing and as he was going to go around the net, he threw the puck back out front to a streaking Jack Ramsey. That’s some great vision and poise for Zerter-Gossage to sling the puck back above the goal-line to Ramsey for the one-touch goal.

Tomorrow the two teams go at it again but this time the scene shifts to Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna. I’ll have an audio-only broadcast on the internet and you can listen to that right HERE (www.mixlr.com/penticton-vees). The plan is to go on the air at 6:45pm with a pre-game, followed by play-by-play at 7pm.

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Pre-Season: Vees Host West K (Line-Up + Audio)

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GAME ROSTERS: PEN-WK

The Penticton Vees host the West Kelowna Warriors at the SOEC tonight in their first home exhibition game. This is the first opportunity for fans to see this year’s squad, as last Saturday the Vees iced a “Prospects” team in Vernon.

Prior to tonight’s clash, I caught up with Co-Captain Patrick Sexton as we chatted about Main Camp and tonight’s pre-season debut.

 

There’s no Vees broadcast of tonight’s game but West Kelowna’s Kyle Anderson will have a radio broadcast on WDCR community radio. You can find the online stream HERE.

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