Good start and an entertaining finish at the SOEC on Friday. The Vees exploded for three goals in the first period, two on the power-play and then held off a pesky Silverbacks squad for the last four minutes.
Troy Stecher, Wade Murphy and Brad McClure all scored first period goals; Stecher and Murphy on back-to-back power-plays. The Vees looked like they were going to walk away with a convincing win but Salmon Arm had other ideas and to their credit, battled back to make things very interesting in the end. Bryden Marsh and former Vee Evan Anderson scored goals in the second and third periods to put a scare into the Vees but that’s all that it was, as the Vees held on for their 15th win.
The Vees now are 10-1-0-0 against the Interior Division, 3-0-0 against the Silverbacks and look to sweep this weeks schedule with a win in Trail tomorrow.The Smoke Eaters out lasted the Prince George Spruce Kings 8-7, YES, 8-7 in double-overtime on Friday.
Thoughts on the Win
- Troy Stecher looked like he was still in a Team Canada West jersey on Friday. A goal and an assist in the first period and was a force in his own end. It was obvious the Silverbacks targeted the Vees captain all night, giving him extra attention. Salmon Arm tried to do anything to get the Vees captain off his game. A P-O’d Stecher is that much better of a player, so nice try Salmon Arm.
- Wade Murphy is showing he’s getting better and better, should I say more energized. Murphy played a tonne, I mean a TONNE of hockey in the last three weeks and looked a little spent both mentally and physically Wednesday. Tonight he was better and will get better once he gets back into a rhythm. Scary to say that, as he did score a power-play goal and has two points since his return from the WJAC.
- The power-play looked like the beast it can be; especially in the first. Two for three in the opening twenty and it was down right lethal. Crisp passing, smart decisions and accuracy was key on the PP in the first. It had its hiccups over the last two periods but it showed what it could be in the first, and that’s a big positive going forward. Just wait when Sean Flanagan gets familiar and four who just returned get back into the swing of things.
- Adam Clark deserves a lot of praise in the Silverbacks net. He had to be air-tight after the first if the ‘Backs had any chance of coming back and he was. Yup, he was helped out by a post and cross-bar and the Vees flubbed a few of their chances. However, Clark was sharp and I can’t fault him on any of the three goals he surrendered.
- Hey, Chad Katunar was good when he had to be as well. He had a rough start, taking a puck in the head in warm-up; losing the bucket too. However, he didn’t look any worse for it and had an efficient night in-goal. Both goals against were ones you can’t blame the Vees puck-stopper for. After a rough patch in late October / November, Katunar has pulled off back-to-back wins.
- Special teams were a focal point on Friday. The Vees were 2/6 on the man-advantage and a perfect five for five on the PK. The power-play against the Silverbacks is now 6/16 in three games and the penalty-kill is a perfect 11 for 11; big reason why they’re 3-0 against the Silverbacks.
- Back to Katunar and Clark. What’s goalie interference? Seriously, what’s the penalty? Clearly I was confused because Salmon Arm was allowed to go all Ray Lewis on Katunar. The Vees, NOT the Silverbacks, were the team dinged for goalie Interference. Dexter Dancs picked up the call in the second period. Clark went down easy, pretty darn easy. Well, good for Clark for playing the game and milking the call. But c’mon,all coaches want is consistency from officials but it wasn’t there Friday. Katunar was continually ran, bumped, or piled onto but no call. Not one. Ok….
- Good moment for former Vee Evan Anderson, scoring his first BCHL goal against his former team. He finished with two points and was my third star. There was a mix-up to why he wasn’t announced but he was the Silverbacks best forward on Friday; hope it continues for him.
- Big key for the Vees was the ability to use their entire bench throughout the game. The Vees play tomorrow and it would of been a tough task to face Trail with a tired group. However, the Vees didn’t need to shorten the bench and everyone chipped in. Depth has been a big reason, maybe THE reason why the Vees have rattled off two straight wins.