VEES: GP 33 22-8-0-3 WARRIORS: GP 31 12-10-2-7
VEES HOME: 12-4-0-1 WARRIORS AWAY: 4-4-0-4
Sep 14th: 4-3 Vees (2OT)
Sep 22nd: 5-3 Vees
Oct 23rd: 4-3 Vees (0T)
Oct 26th: 4-1 Vees
Vees Scoring vs Warriors Warriors Scoring vs. Vees
Michael Rebry (4-3-7) Seb Lloyd (3-2-5)
Sam Mellor (0-7-7) Marcus Basara (1-3-4)
Wade Murphy (2-4-6) Ambrose Firkus (1-2-3)
Ryan Gropp (1-5-6) Shawn Hochhausen (1-2-3)
Brad McClure (4-1-5) David Pope (2-0-2)
James De Haas (2-2-4) Matt Anholt (1-1-2)
Troy Stecher (1-3-4) Max French (1-1-2)
Louie Nanne (0-3-3) Adam Plant (0-2-2)
Cam Amantea (1-1-2) Brent Lashuk (0-2-2)
Cody DePourcq (1-0-1) Matt Berry (0-1-1)
Travis Blanleil (0-1-1) Dustin Cave (0-1-1)
Bryan Sinz (0-1-1) Jetland Houcher (0-1-1)
Josh Monk (0-1-1)
Vees power-play vs. Warriors:4-16
Vees penalty-kill vs. Warriors 10-13
Last Meeting: Mike Rebry and Brad McClure each scored twice and Chad Katunar made 32 saves, in a 4-1 win on October 26th; two months and two days ago. The Vees led 1-0 after one and 2-0 after two, and built up a 4-0 lead late into the third period before the shutout bid was spoiled by Seb Lloyd.The win at the time was the Vees third in a row, and 13th from their first 16 games.
The game also marked the final time the Vees had their entire roster intact, as after that they lost four to the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge and a few others to injuries ever since. Their record somewhat reflects their roster roller coaster as the Vees are 9-6-0-2 since their last encounter with the Tribe.
The Warriors are in the same boat, as they’ve gone through their fair share of injuries, most notably a lengthy absence from their captain Max French, a knee injury that kept him out for two months. The Warriors also had others lost to injury, like Tyler Briggs and a recently a rash upfront. They’ve had an up and down two months, going 4-7-2-3 since they last played Penticton.
Last Game: The Vees gutted out a 5-2 win over the Clippers on December 15th, their last game before the Christmas break. In that one, the Vees held a precarious 1-0 led through the opening twenty minutes and a 3-1 lead through two periods. The score didn’t reflect how tight the game was, as the Clippers were a handful throughout the contest.
The Warriors last played on Saturday, where they were doubled up 4-2 by the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on the road. Former Vee Mitch Ferguson scored his first and second career BCHL goals in the win; the pair coming 33 seconds apart and within the final 1:34 of the third period.
That loss capped off a tough ending to the Warriors pre-Christmas schedule, as they lost both games to Salmon Arm in that weekend home-and home; the Silverbacks won 4-1 one night earlier. The Warriors were winless in their last four games before the break, going 0-2-1-1.
Roster Flux: It’s a good news, bad news scenario for the Vees when it comes to the roster. The good news is Mike Rebry is back and will play tonight for the first time since October 27th. Rebry missed the last two months between the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge and a lower-body injury.
The bad news is the Vees will be without Ryan Gropp and Rob Mann. The Vees were prepared for Gropp, as he is off at the World Under-17 Challenge in Quebec with Team Pacific; Gropp likely will miss the Vees next four games. Mann re-aggravated a lower-body injury in the game against Nanaimo before the break and will miss tonight’s game and likely tomorrow as well. Mann will be missed on the blue-line as he and Bryan Sinz have formed quite the shutdown duo, but life goes on and the Vees will adapt without him.
The Warriors have been hit and then some with the injury bug so far this season. Above I touched on the situation with Max French, but it doesn’t end there, as West Kelowna will be without four regulars tonight. Brett McKinnon, David Pope, Ambrose Firkus and Brent Lashuk are all scratched for tonight’s game. Jon Zacks, the Voice of the Warriors, might have more on his blog about the injury situation. Those are some quality pieces not in the line-up for the tribe. McKinnon and Pope are fourth and fifth in team scoring and Firkus and Lashuk have been good two-way energy forwards, who can add some scoring depth upfront.
With the shorthanded situation upfront, the Warriors have called in reinforcements in Colton Thibault and Devon Hascarl, two AP’s who’ve seen playing time this season already against Penticton. Also to help out the numbers game the Warriors have penciled in Dustin Cave as a right-winger on the fourth line; does he stay there all game? who knows. As I write this, the Tribe will be going with 11 forwards (nine regulars) and seven defensemen against the Vees.
Hot Hand: Sam Mellor and Wade Murphy are both “feeling it” of late, as the two are in the midst of impressive point streaks. Mellor has an eight game point streak, amassing five goals and 11 points in the eight games. Murphy has points in his last five outings, picking up two goals and eight points.
Stingy, Stingy: The Vees haven’t been in the giving mood all that much in December; not the festive type I suppose. In their last five games, the Vees have not allowed more than two goals, and are only averaging 1.67 goals-against in the month of December; a lump of coal for their opponents.
Boultbee-Balson-Mellor Clark-Simmonds-Hascarl (AP)
Blanleil-DePourcq-Amantea Thibault (AP)- -Cave
De Haas-Park Tegtmeyer-Berry