Walking into the Snake Pit

Photo: Cherie Morgan / Penticton Herald

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Vees: GP 25 16-7-0-2 Vipers: GP 24 9-9-0-6

Vees Away: 8-4-0-1 Vipers Home: 5-3-0-3

Last Game: Aaron Hadley and Ryan Renz scored in the second and the third to propel the Vipers to their first win at the SOEC since October 22nd, 2010. Austin Smith stopped 26 shots for his first win against the Vees in three tries.

Louie Nanne scored late in the second for the Vees, at the time tying the game at one’s. Chad Katunar was saddled with the loss, making 24 saves but his solid performance will be overshadowed by the Hadley goal in the second period.

Season Series:

September 8th: 3-2 (2OT) Vees (Showcase)

October 5th: 4-2 Vees (SOEC)

November 23rd: 2-1 Vipers (SOEC)

November 24th Vernon

December 14th Vernon

January 25th SOEC

March 8th Vernon

Change of Scenery: The scene shifts to the Wesbild Centre in Vernon, as the two teams conclude their weekend home-and-home series. Tonight is the Vees first of three trips to Vernon; last year the Vees won two of their three games at the Wesbild Centre.

the loss last night was the Vees fourth at home this season, and now are 2-3 in their last five home games.So maybe tonight`s game comes at a perfect time, much like their road win in Merritt one week ago.

The Vees will have some road support, as a bus full of Vees fans will be making the trip to the North Okanagan; a boost that will be warmly welcomed

Vees Beat: The Vees had to watch their rivals celebrate a win last night and that won`t sit well with anyone. The Vees pride themselves on their home record and having Vernon take two points out of the SOEC stings that much more.

The Vees actually played very well last night, as they put together one of their most consistent efforts in some time. They made a few adjustments in the beginning after a strong Vernon push-off the start, which saw them have some difficulties in their own zone. After the tweaks the Vees looked sound in their own zone, only giving up 10, 11 and 5 shots in the three periods. Usually when you only surrender 26 shots and two goals your going to get two points. Defensively the Vees simply need to copy and paste from Friday to tonight.

Up front the forwards will need to roll of their sleeves and get in the dirty areas around the Vernon goal. Last night the Vees really controlled the puck inside the Vernon zone, winning numerous battles down low, but had trouble getting into scoring areas. For the most part the Vees were stuck on the perimeter and were forced to take shots from the outside. There were occasions when the Vees did drive the goal and had chances from those net drives. Perfect example was in the second period when Cam Amantea turned on the goal-line and made a b-line for the goal; it appeared Dexter Dancs jammed in the loose puck but the goal was waved off. Getting to the greasy areas tonight is a must.

Both teams PK units were sharp, as neither side scored a power-play goal on any of their three power-plays. The Vees PP units will need show some urgency;, a real determined effort to get into soft areas of coverage. Last night their second and third power-plays had great puck movement but struggled to get that grade ‘A’ chance. There was only six total power-plays last night and the Vees will have to make good on any chance they get tonight; one goal could be the difference between a win and a loss.

OP Office Products Three Keys to the Game

  1. A-B-D on AT: Cam Amantea, Travis Blanleil and Cody DePourcq were terrific in shutting down Adam Tambellini and the Vernon top-line. The three spent more time in the offensive zone, forcing the Vernon top trio to play in their own end. In order for the Vees to have success tonight, the three will need to repeat their performance from Friday.
  2. Unwelcome Guests: The Vees need to have a strong push right from the opening face-off. It doesn’t necessarily mean they have to score right away, although that would be nice, but it does mean seizing momentum early and putting the Vipers on their heels. Go after the home side, who might be feeling good about themselves after last night. The Vipers are by no means unbeatable at home, but have won 3 of their last 5 games. The Vees know they can win on the road and know they can beat the Vipers.
  3. Roll up the Sleeves: The Vees need to attack the Vipers goal and get into the greasy areas. Time to get into Austin Smith’s face and not let him get comfortable. Crashing the net is a simple yet effective way to manufacturing offense on the road; getting to second and third chances is what the Vees need to do. There were loose pucks around the Viper goal last night but the Vees forwards had trouble getting to those loose pucks.
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About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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