Photo: Dylan Lynch / Hockey Canada
This blog has been too quiet recently and I apologize for that, so I thought I would find some content to keep you interested. I was looking at the calendar at the office and today stuck out for me and I wasn’t sure why at first, but then I realized a year ago today was arguably the most important game of the Vees season.
On May 8th, 2012, the Vees were in a “must-win” situation, entering their third round-robin game against the Woodstock Slammers at the RBC Cup in Humboldt. The Vees dropped their first two games (2-1 to Soo T-Birds & 3-2 to Humboldt Broncos) and needed a win to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
Joey Benik, who later on in the tournament scored a clutch goal again against Woodstock, scored the eventual game-winner in the third period to seal a 2-1 win. Benik got his stick on a Mike Reilly point-shot on the power-play early in the third period to vault the Vees into a four-way tie for second place.
Here’s how the game sounded..
The Game Story:
Joey Benik’s power-play goal early in the third period vaulted the Penticton Vees to a 2-1 win over the Woodstock Slammers on Tuesday night. The win is the Vees (1-2) first of the tournament and moves them in a four-way tie for second place.
Benik redirected a Mike Reilly point-shot past the glove of Slammers goaltender Matt Murphy just before the three minute-mark in the third. The goal marked two first for the Vees: their first power-play goal and their first lead of the RBC Cup.
The Vees controlled the pace in the first period, continually pressuring the Woodstock zone and doubled the Slammers in shots. However despite the advantage in play, the Vees couldn’t open the scoring, missing on several in-close opportunities. Mario Lucia had arguably the best chance, when he stick-handled through the Slammers defense and around the goalie but couldn’t shovel the puck past the post.
In the second period the Vees continued to pour on the pressure, putting puck after puck on goal but none of the nineteen shots beat the Slammers goaltender. The Vees had two power-play chances and again couldn’t convert on several quality opportunities.
The Slammers turned the tide, all be it briefly, when they opened the scoring on a turnover behind the Vees net. The goaltender and defenseman got their signals crossed, allowing Chris Rygus to center a pass to Andrew Langan out front; the forward snapped a quick shot through the legs of Mike Garteig at 15:21.
The Vees didn’t waiver and quickly squared the game at one’s off the stick of Ryan Reilly. The future Minnesota Golden Gopher let go a wrist shot that handcuffed Murphy from just inside the blue-line at 16:41; eighty seconds after the Slammers opened the scoring.
In the third the Vees were given an early power-play when Tim Campbell was sent to the penalty-box for interference. On the man-advantage, Joey Benik broke the deadlock on a tip in front of the Slammers net; Mike Reilly took a shot from the blue-line which Benik managed to redirect past the glove of Murphy at 2:41.
The Vees ran into penalty-trouble throughout the third, handing the Slammers four power-plays in the final fourteen minutes but managed to hold the Woodstock off the scoresheet. Mike Garteig stopped all seven shots he faced in the period, including a handful of key stops in the final minutes whilst the Vees were short-handed.