Records: Vees 54-4-0-2 / Bandits 47-7-0-6
Home / Away: Vees (Home) 29-0-0-1/ 7-2-0-1 Bandits (Away) 22-4-0-4 / 7-2-0
Playoff Series Schedule
Game 1 7-2 Vees (Centennial Regional Arena)
Game 2 1-0 Vees (Centennial Regional Arena)
Game 3 4-3 Bandits (SOEC)
Game 4 6-1 Vees (SOEC)
Game 5 Apr 27th (SOEC)
*Game 6 Apr 28th (SOEC)
*Game 7 Apr 29th (SOEC)
** If necessary
The Set-Up: The Vees with a win in game five can win their first Doyle Cup in twenty-six years and book their spot in the RBC Cup in Humboldt. The last time the Vees were on the national stage, the team was called the Knights, they were playing for the Centennial Cup (later renamed the RBC Cup) and Cody DePourcq’s dad, John was playing for the Knights; it’s been awhile for Penticton hockey fans.
The Vees are so close yet so far away from winning the Doyle Cup. They still have sixty minutes or more ahead of them and the Brooks Bandits are standing in their way. The Bandits will fight tooth and nail to keep their season alive and will be determined to push this series to six games.
The Bandits will be short-staffed, as two of their regulars will miss game five due to suspension. Forward Jeremy Burns received a two game ban for the two major penalties he received in game four. Defenseman David Watt was given a one game suspension for his fight with Chad Bannor. Both Watt and Bannor will sit out, as under Hockey Canada rules, a fight in the last five minutes of a game nets the participants an automatic one game suspension.
The Vees have won all three games in the playoffs when they had an opportunity to end a series. They won game six over Chilliwack, game five against Merritt and won game four in Powell River in the Fred Page Cup Final. Tonight presents another opportunity to clinch a series, in what could be their last game at the SOEC this season.
Vees Scope: To a man, the Vees know the situation before them. Tonight is the first opportunity for the Vees to win a championship at the SOEC since it opened in the fall of 2008. Furthermore, the Vees haven’t won a championship, BCHL or Doyle Cup, in Penticton since 1986. That year the Knights won the BCHL Championship in five games over the Richmond Sockeyes; game five was at Memorial Arena. However, the Knights won the Doyle Cup in Calgary over the Canucks in five games. Since the Doyle Cup started to be contested in 1985, the Vees / Knights have yet to win it on home ice.
The team is more focused on the matter of just ending the series tonight, regardless of the venue. They have a team on the ropes in the Bandits and now is not the time to let them back in the series. The Vees have learned from their mistakes and can ill afford a repeat performance. This team’s goal from day one was a national championship and with a win they can move one step closer.
Player(s) to Watch
Vees: Cody DePourcq
The seventeen year-old continues to get better and better as this series goes on. DePourcq was excellent in game three and followed up with another strong performance in game four. The diminutive forwards’ energy and determination is infectious and can provide a much-needed boost when the Vees are in need of a spark.
DePourcq moved up and down the line-up in game three, getting a few shifts with Mario Lucia and Wade Murphy and didn’t look out-of-place. He also was strong in the face-off circle, winning numerous draws; it felt like he didn’t lose a face-off in the late going. The coaches haven’t be shy about putting him out with some of the Vees big guns to get some momentum going and if the power-play is sagging, DePourcq has seen some shifts to help turn things around.
Even though he doesn’t have a goal in the series, I have the feeling he is due to have a breakout performance. DePourcq has had his sniffs in and around the net and it’s a matter of time before he makes something happen.
Vees: Clutch Up
The Vees have an opportunity to clinch the Doyle Cup, on home-ice and book their spot in the RBC Cup. What stands in the way is a pesky Bandits side and sixty or more minutes of hockey. As the cliché goes, the hardest win to get in a series is the last one.
The Vees will have to be ready for an early push from the Bandits and will need to be prepared to push back. The Vees can’t sit back at any moment, no matter how brief, as that’s where the Bandits can hurt you.Penticton can build off their performance in game four, as it was arguably their best showing in the Doyle Cup to date and a game where they never let off. From start to finish, the Vees need to be forcing the issue and continually pressing the Bandits; force mistakes and that will lead to turnovers.
Doyle Cup Scoring
St. Denis 1-6-7
M. Reilly 1-5-6
R. Reilly 1-1-2
Garteig 2-1-0 / 1.68 GAA / .946 SV% / 1SO
Katunar 1-0-0 / 2.00 GAA / .923 SV%
Doyle Cup Scoring by Lines:
St. Denis 4-9-13
M. Reilly 1-8-9
R. Reilly 3-4-7
Chad Katunar 12-2-0-1 1.74 GAA .938 SV% 2SO
Vees Scoring by Lines Playoffs
Team Scope: It’s simple for the Bandits, win or your season is over.They’ve won in Penticton already and should have no reason not to believe they can get another win tonight.
In game four the Bandits seemed to have issues with the Vees speed and fore-check as they turned too many pucks over near or at their blue-line. It won’t get any easier with one of their top defenseman in David Watt not in the line-up due to a suspension. In saying that, this is a veteran laden team and those veterans will do their best to plug the holes.
The Bandits will need to get an early goal, the first goal, and mute what should be a large and boisterous crowd. As the road team you want to get through the first period not staring at a deficit. If the Bandits can get a lead or even a tie going into the intermission, it will only give them more confidence and that can be dangerous.
Bandits: Energy & Emotion
That’s what the Bandits will need tonight; energy & emotion. The Bandits backs are against the wall so to speak but that’s when a team can be at its most dangerous. Teams that find themselves in these situations can be a tough out as they play without and reservations. Some players might fight for loose pucks harder than they might have in games past, certain players start blocking shots they otherwise wouldn’t or take to the body which maybe they’re not known to do. It’s all about how bad you want to win and which team wants it more; can the Bandits be the hungrier of the two teams tonight?
Doyle Cup Scoring
Obernesser 1-3-0 / 4.30 GAA / .833 SV%
Fredrick 0-0-0 4.19 GAA .833 SV%
Doyle Cup Scoring by Lines:
Cam Maclise 6-10-16
Matt Wilkins 7-8-15
RJ Reed 7-5-12
Mark Reners 6-6-12
Dylan Nowakowski 2-9-11
Colton Semenok 3-7-10
Anthony Paskaruk 5-4-9
Dakota Mason 5-4-9
Anthony Petruzzelli 3-4-7
David Watt 0-7-7
Patrick Lee 3-3-6
Jeremy Burns 1-4-5
Ryan Luiten 1-4-5
Andy Williams 3-1-4
Maddison Smiley 2-2-4
Tanner Hicks 1-3-4
Chris Muscoby 1-2-3
Matt Tyson 0-2-2
Taylor Elliot 0-1-1
Jan Obernesser 12-2-0 2.16 GAA .915 SV% 2 SO
Michael Fredrick GP 1 0-0-0 4.98 GAA .800 SV%
Bandits Scoring by Lines Playoffs
Broadcast: 6:40pm PT Pre-Game Show 7pm PT Face-Off
EZ ROCK AM 800 (Radio)