GM #57 Preview: Vees, Vipers Season Series Finale

Feb 27

Venue: SOEC

Game Time: 7pm

Season Series: Vees (5-1-0-0) 3-1 W Oct 17th, 1-0 W Oct 25th, 4-2 W Nov 14th, 4-3 W Dec 5th, 3-0 W Jan 2nd, 2-1 L Feb 11th, Feb 27th at SOEC.

Vees Home Record: 23-3-1-0

Vees Record vs. Interior Division: 24-7-1-1

Vees Leading Scorer: Riley Alferd 18-28-46

Vees Scoring vs. Vernon:

Demico Hannoun 4-1-5
Dante Fabbro 1-4-5

Tyson Jost 1-3-4
Riley Alfred 1-2-3
Matthew Serratore 2-1-3
Lewis-Zerter Gossage 1-2-3
Jack Ramsay 1-2-3
Gabe Bast 1-3-4
Patrick Newell 0-2-2
Patrick Sexton 0-2-2
Patrick Newell 1-1-2
Cody DePourcq 1-1-2
Mitch Newsome 1-0-1
Steen Cooper 1-0-1
Shayne Gwinner 0-1-1

 Vipers Road Record: 15-11-0-2

Vipers Record vs. Interior Division: 20-12-1-1

Vipers Leading Scorer: Liam Finlay 23-40-63

Vipers Scoring vs. Penticton:

Thomas Aldworth 4-0-4
TJ Dumonceaux 1-3-4
Liam Coughlin 0-3-3

Liam Finlay 0-3-3
Anthony Latina 1-1-2
Luke Voltin 1-0-1

Jagger Williamson 1-0-1
Mitch Meek 0-1-1
Luke Shiplo 0-1-1

Riley Brandt 0-1-1

The Penticton Vees and Vernon Vipers wrap up their six-game seasonal series tonight at the SOEC. The Vees have won five of six against the Vipers this season but that one loss came in the last meeting on February 11th. Jagger Williams and TJ Dumonceaux scored for Vernon, as they won 2-1 and became only the second team to take two points out of the SOEC this season.

That game may have served as a wakeup call for the Vees, as they’ve won their last four, including a sweep of Merritt and Alberni Valley last weekend. That win over Penticton triggered a five-game winning streak for Vernon that was snapped on Saturday with a 4-2 loss in Salmon Arm.

Tonight is the second-to-last game of the regular season for the Vees, as they host Salmon Arm in their season finale tomorrow. Vernon is playing game number 58 tonight, as they don’t play again until Tuesday, when they host game one of their first round playoff series against a yet to be determined opponent.

The Vees look to have a healthy line-up for tonight’s game, as Dante Fabbro has recovered from a lingering upper-body injury that sidelined him for last Saturday’s game. The Vees will likely use both of their goaltenders this weekend as well, so we might see 17-year-old Brendan Barry between the pipes tomorrow. Barry officially committed to Clarkson University on Thursday, as the rookie netminder is set to join the Golden Knights in the fall of 2017.

Hunter Miska is your probable starter for the Vees and is 32-9-3 on the year while sporting a 1.90 goals-against average and a sparkling .929 save-percentage.

As mentioned the Vees have won four in a row and are looking to run the table on their season ending four-game home stand. So far, so good, as they’ve won the first two games beating Merritt 4-1 last Friday and Alberni Valley 4-2 last Saturday.

Vernon has gone 5-1-0-0 since February 11th and the only blemish on their schedule in the last two weeks was Saturday’s loss in Salmon Arm.

Both teams will have their eye on the out-of-town scoreboard, as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks host the Merritt Centennials at the Shaw Centre. Those two teams, along with West Kelowna, are tied with 64 points respectively. The result in Salmon Arm tonight can go a long way in determining who the Vees and Vipers play in the first round of the BCHL Fred Page Cup playoffs. West Kelowna is off tonight but play the Surrey Eagles at home tomorrow. West Kelowna needs to win Saturday and hope either Salmon Arm or Merritt loses both of their two games this weekend.

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Vees Release Home Playoff Dates

2015 FPC

The Vees may not know who they’ll be playing in the first round of the BCHL Fred Page Cup Playoffs but they do know when they’ll be playing. Today the team officially released it’s home playoff dates for the first two rounds of the BCHL Fred Page Cup Playoffs.

Obviously nothing is guaranteed but below is a team press release outlining what their home dates would look like in the two rounds of the Interior Division Playoffs. It all gets going a week from tonight at the SOEC.

Press Release:

The Penticton Vees are winding down their regular season schedule with the BCHL Fred Page Cup playoffs just around the corner, and with that, the team has released its home dates for the Interior Division playoffs.

 Due to a three-way-tie between Merritt, Salmon Arm and West Kelowna for the final two playoff spots, the Vees do not know who they’ll be facing in first round as of right now.

 The Vees will open the Fred Page Cup playoffs at the SOEC on Tuesday, March 3rd, and Wednesday, March 4th. Face-off for both games will be 7pm. Game five (if necessary) will be on Monday, March 9th, and game seven (if necessary) will be on Wednesday, March 11th.

 If the Vees advance to the Interior Division Final, they would host game one on Saturday, March 14th, at 6pm. Game two would be the following afternoon, Sunday, March 15th, also at 6pm. Game five (if necessary) would be on Friday, March 20th, at 7pm and game seven (if necessary)  would be on Sunday, March 22nd, again at 6pm.

 The third round of the BCHL playoffs will be a three-team round robin between the three division winners. The BCHL round robin will be completed between Wednesday, March 25th, and Sunday, April 5th. The Fred Page Cup Final will be played between Friday, April 10th, and Sunday, April 19th.

 Fans can purchase discounted playoff Adult/Senior tickets at $10 per game for games one and two of the first round if they buy before 12pm on Monday, March 3rd. After 12pm on Monday, March 3rd, tickets will be $15 for adults and $13 for seniors. Students and children tickets are still free throughout the playoffs courtesy of Peter’s Brothers Construction.

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Post-GM #56: Vees Double-Up ‘Dogs on Saturday Night

Game Recap Feb 21

GAME RECAP 

BOXSCORE 

(Cherie Morgan Photography)

The Vees two first period power-play goals

  • The audio above I think describes the most important stretch of Saturday’s game. The Vees scored twice on the power-play, their first two power-plays of the game and just 1:33 apart. When it’s all said and done, those two power-play goals were the difference in a game that was decided by special teams. Assistant Coach Nick Fuher made a good point on the post-game show, pointing out it was good to see the Vees special teams have a positive impact on a game. Up until recently the Vees power-play has struggled for the majority of February but now they’ve strung together back-to-back game where they’ve scored two or more power-play goals.
  • The Vees special teams performance all the more special considering the Bulldogs have the second-best power-play in the BCHL and the fourth-best penalty-kill. The Vees power-play was clutch but so too was the PK. The two four-man units kept the deadly ‘Dogs power-play off the scoresheet on five opportunities and that’s the league’s best road power-play too. A big reason why the Vees shutout the ‘Dogs power-play was their shot blocking. The Vees when short-handed and even at even strength, stepped in front of quite a few Bulldogs shot attempts. The PK was where it was most noticeable, especially on the Bulldogs first two power-plays in the first period. Guys like Jack Ramsey, Riley Alferd, Patrick Sexton and Gabe Bast took the brunt of the abuse but it was well worth it in the end.
  • Nice to see Billy Christopoulos is human after all. The Vees FINALLY scored on the Alberni Valley goaltender late in the first period after Ramsey shoveled in a rebound on a power-play. The shutout streak for Christopoulos on the Vees was up to 78-minutes and he stopped something like 52 straight shots before Ramsey opened the scoring. Remember, Christopoulos had a 37-shutout against Penticton back on February 8th. Funny though, how the Vees had all this pressure on the Bulldogs netminder and it was a greasy rebound that cracked the goose-egg. Just before that Ramsey goal, Tyson Jost was absolutely robbed on the doorstep by the pad of Christopoulos and it had me thinking, “Here we go again?!”Great poise shown by Jost, who after being stonewalled, quickly gathered the puck in and drove the net. He caused all sorts of havoc and the Bulldogs goaltender lost his stick in the pileup and Ramsey was there to clean up the mess.
  • What impressed me the most about the two late goals in the first was the Vees not wasting their opportunities. Just look back to Friday night when they had a five-on-three for a buck thirty-five against Merritt and they couldn’t capitalize. They were again given a five-on-three late in the first, again it was for over a minute and a half but this time they made the most of it. The ‘Dogs got themselves into a bind when Cam Amantea was high-sticked (two stitches to the ear) and then Troy Dobbs took a cross-checking penalty. The Vees made the ‘Dogs pay for their transgressions but most importantly they didn’t let an opportunity pass them by. They scored on their first two power-plays and didn’t leave any doubt; a big confidence boost. I harp on this because teams will try to get in the Vees face in the playoffs and that will lead to power-plays. The Vees HAVE to make sure they’re burning teams and sending a message that they’ll get roasted if they go after the Vees. Nothing is worse than allowing a team to run around and be in your face, and not having your power-play make them pay for it.
  • The five-on-three sequence wasn’t the only thing similar to Friday’s game, the Vees second period lapse brought me back to their rough finish in the first period against Merritt. Saturday the Vees made a couple of mistakes in their end early in the middle frame and the Bulldogs took all of a minute and fifty-four seconds to erase a two-goal deficit. If you recall, Friday the Vees fizzled out towards the end of the first period and watched the Cents’ tie the game. But on both nights the Vees found a way to overcome those lapses and still win the games. Friday they had a strong forty-minutes to finish the game and Saturday it was a strong push in the second to get a lead going into the intermission. Wise move by the Vees bench to burn their timeout after the Bulldogs second goal. That really seemed to settle the troops and the Vees got back to playing their brand of hockey. It all culminated in Demico Hannoun cashing in on a breakaway late in the second. What separates great teams from good teams, is the ability to overcome challenges and or adversity in a game. The Vees had a poor eight-minute stretch Friday and overcame and they got past a less than stellar five-minute stretch on Saturday. Good teams find a way to win, when sometimes they’re not playing all that good.
  • Hannoun was at his best on Saturday and that shouldn’t be a surprise given the theatre. Big crowd on Anti-Bullying night, the Vees up against it after two quick Bulldogs goals and the crowd needing a spark: Hannoun enter stage left. Hannoun loves the big moments and he’s usually money in those situations. Before his second period goal, he was stopped on a breakaway earlier in the period, when Christopoulos stopped him with the blocker. Well, his line forces a turnover just outside the Bulldogs zone and Hannoun his sprung in alone again. This time he deked to the glove-side and roofed the puck; no doubt about that. Hannoun also made a heckuva pass to Patrick Newell in the third to set up the Vees fourth goal, a big insurance marker. He’s a big game player, who’s embracing that “200 ft game.” We saw it late in the third when the Bulldogs had the net empty for the extra-skater. Hannoun, as pointed out by my partner Trevor Miller, hustled back to his blue-line and muscled Garrett Halls off the puck to stop the ‘Dogs from setting up the six-on-five. Little things like that go a long way in the playoffs.
  • The Vees boast a lot of depth and it’s usually someone different every night stepping up and providing the offense. Saturday was a bit different as their top line carried the mail, as Hannoun, Jost and Newell combined for two goals and six points. Great to see those three click and get hot just as the playoffs are around the corner. Your going to need depth to win in the playoffs, but you’re also going to need your top guys to step up too.
  • All around a great night and atmosphere at the SOEC. Over 3,000 screaming, pink-clad kids and their families came out for the Vees annual Anti-Bullying night. Having all those school kids at the game created a lot of noise and a great vibe in the rink. I know the players were loving the crowd and how loud they were. Lets see that again next Friday shall we?
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GM #56 Preview: Vees Host Bulldogs on Anti-Bullying Night

 

Feb 21

Friday’s Recap 

Venue: SOEC

Game Time: 6pm

Season Series: Sept 21st 4-3 Vees, February 8th 3-0 Bulldogs

Vees Home Record: 22-3-1-0

Vees Record vs. Island Division: 6-2-1-1

Vees Leading Scorer: Riley Alferd 18-26-44

 

Bulldogs Road Record: 10-11-2-2

Bulldogs Record vs. Interior Division: 6-5-0-0

Bulldogs Leading Scorer: Mitch Makin 24-32-56

The Penticton Vees (41-9-3-2) are looking for a weekend sweep when they host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (26-22-2-4) on Anti-Bullying night at the SOEC.

The Vees are coming off a 4-1 win over the Merritt Centennials Friday night and have won three in a row after going through a three-game winless skid from February 7th-11th.

Alberni Valley started their Interior road trip with a heartbreaking 4-3 loss in Salmon Arm one night ago; the ‘Dogs wrap up their trip tomorrow afternoon in Merritt.

Tonight fans are encouraged to wear pink, as the Vees, School District 67 and Sendero Canyon are teaming up to make a stand against bullying. Over 1,000 school kids and their parents from across the district will be at the game and the Vees will be wearing pink Anti-Bullying jerseys, courtesy of Sendero Canyon.

Despite a 29 point gap in the standings between these two teams, the Vees and ‘Dogs have played each other close. So far they’ve split the first two games of this three-game season series. The Vees won 4-3 on the second day of the regular season, way back on September 21st. Alberni Valley most recently shutout the Vees 3-0 back on February 8th in Port Alberni. Billy Christopoulos made 37-saves in that win.

The Vees are looking to extend their win streak to four tonight, and keep their perfect home record intact against Island Division teams. Overall, the Vees are 6-2-1-1 against the Island but are a perfect 5-0-0-0 at the SOEC. Most recently they beat the Nanaimo Clippers 4-2 back on February 13th.

Alberni Valley thought they secured at least a single point last night, when they tied Salmon Arm 3-3 with half a minute left in regulation, but Carson Bolduc scored just 10 seconds later to secure a dramatic 4-3 win for the Silverbacks; the game-winner coming at 19:36 of the third.

The Bulldogs have lost back-to-back games and three of their last four after winning three straight over Nanaimo, Penticton and Cowichan Valley February 6th-10th. Alberni Valley is in the midst of five straight road games to end the regular season. After tonight, they’re in Merritt tomorrow afternoon, and then they’re in Powell River for a twin bill on February 27th & 28th.

The only change in the Vees line-up might be on the blue-line. Dante Fabbro left yesterday’s game with an upper-body injury and will be a game-time decision. Hunter Miska will get the start in goal.

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Post-Game #55: Game Links, Highlights in Vees 4-1 Win

Game Recap Feb 20

GAME RECAP 

BOXSCORE 

 

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GM #55 Preview: Vees, Cents’ Wrap Up Season Series

Feb 20

Venue: SOEC

Game Time: 7pm

Season Series: Vees (4-3-0-0) Sep 27th 5-0 L, Oct 8th 4-2 W, Nov 21st 3-2 W (OT), Nov 22nd 5-3 W, Dec 17th 5-1 L, Jan 16th 4-1 L, Jan 23rd 4-1 W, Feb 20th at Penticton

Vees Home Record: 21-3-1-0

Vees Record vs. Interior Division: 23-7-1-1

Vees Leading Scorer: Riley Alferd 18-26-44

 

Centennials Road Record: 12-13-0-2

Centennials Record vs. Interior Division: 16-15-0-1

Centennials Leading Scorer: John Schiavo 25-30-55

The Penticton Vees kick-off a four-game home stand to end the regular season tonight, when they host the Merritt Centennials at the SOEC. This is the eighth and final meeting between these two Interior rivals, as the Vees hold a slight edge in the season series, winning four of the previous seven encounters.

The Vees have sewn up top spot in the BCHL and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs by clinching the Ron Boileau trophy as regular season pennant winners; their second BCHL pennant in the last four years.

After going winless in three straight, the Vees swept their weekend schedule last week, beating Nanaimo 4-2 at home and then coming back to beat Trail 5-2 on the road. The Vees so far are 3-2-1-0 in the month of February.

Merritt is coming off a successful weekend Island Division road trip, as they took home four out of a possible six points, to keep themselves ahead of Salmon Arm and West Kelowna in the Interior Division playoff race. Merritt won 4-2 in Powell River last Friday and after being shutout 3-0 in Port Alberni Saturday, they bounced back with a 5-3 win Sunday afternoon in Cowichan Valley.

Coming into this weekend, the Centennials have 29 wins and 60 points with five games remaining on their schedule. After tonight Merritt plays three of their final four games at home but their final road game is a critical match up with Salmon Arm on February 27th.

Though it would appear the Vees have nothing to play for, they’ll want to be at their best as they prepare for the BCHL Fred Page Cup playoffs. The Vees are in the unique position of being able to play the role of spoilers. No, they’re not on the outside looking in but with everything clinched, they have an opportunity to impact the Interior Division playoff race. Tonight they play the third place Centennials and on February 28th they play the fourth Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Both outcomes could have a lasting impact on which teams claim the final two playoff spots in the division.

Hunter Miska will be starting both games for the Vees this weekend, as Brendan Barry is down in the US on a school visit. Miska has started the last three games and six of the last seven for the Vees. The North Branch, Minnesota product already has 30 wins on the year and still has a shot at matching a pair of BCHL records. Former Vee Michael Garteig holds the BCHL record for single-season save-percentage (.934) and goals-against average (1.69), which he set in the 2010-2011 season. Miska will need to string together some stellar performances to try and track down those numbers but it’s certainly not out of question. Entering this weekend, Miska has a .929 save-percentage and a 1.92 goals-against average.

Miska’s likely counterpart tonight, Jonah Imoo, has been very good against Penticton. In five starts, Imoo is 3-2-0-0 with a tidy goals-against average of two and a sparkling .944 save-percentage. However, it his only start in Penticton, Imoo allowed four goals on 36 shots in a 4-1 loss on January 23rd. Imoo didn’t play last Sunday, as Anthony Pupplo finished off the road trip for the Cents, so expect the 20-year-old Imoo to get the start in the Merritt net.

The Vees are a relatively healthy group heading into this weekend, as it looks like Cam Amantea will draw back into the line-up in of the two games. The forward just turned 21 on Wednesday and has missed the last four games with a lingering upper-body injury.

We know the Cents’ will be without defenseman Matt Foley and forward Devin Oakes as both suffered season-ending injuries that were announced last month. Rhett Wilcox missed the Cents’ road trip last weekend and according to the Merritt Herald, is listed day-to-day with a lingering upper-body injury.

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Your Chance to Crack the Code Next Friday

CRACK THE CODE DETAILS 

A remind that the Vees, along with Kirk Chamberlain Realty-Coldwell Banker, will be giving 10 lucky fans a chance to win a 2.5 million dollar home next Friday, February 27th, when the Vees play the Vernon Vipers at the SOEC.

If you need a refresher on the never-before-done promotion follow the link above. Check our the interview above with Kirk Chamberlain and Vees Head Coach Fred Harbinson, as they outline the details of what should be an exciting night at the SOEC.

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