Another road game, another offensive outburst by the Penticton Vees. For the second straight game they score six, and for the second straight game win by a 6-3 score-line. So that’s 17 goals in three games and four straight games with five or more goals. They’re feeling it right now.
Sunday was an odd game; it was evident that both teams were playing their third game in as many days. Physical and mental fatigue lead to messy play in both teams zones. Doesn’t help they were playing in the tight confines of the Poirier Sports and Leisure Centre. A small ice surface, with two teams a tad bagged, doesn’t produce gems. It was a grind, the Vees travelling from Nanaimo Sunday morning. So with all things considered a pretty gutsy effort.
The Vees were the tidier of the two teams in their own zone-for the most part. Coquitlam continually coughed up pucks under pressure from the Vees fore-checkers. It seemed to come in bunches as well, two, three, four turnovers on any given shift,setting up great scoring chances. However, when things are cramped, there isn’t much in the way of shooting lanes. Give credit to the Express, when they did turn it over, they did a good job of collapsing in front of their goal. Really the Vees only scored on one of those turnovers and that was Wade Murphy’s first period tally.
Daniel Urbani didn’t have the hottest of starts for the Express, allowing goals on the first two shots he faced. Last night it was Chad Katunar being beat on two of the first three shots he faced; reversal of fortune. Urbani settled in somewhat after that, but look rattled and frustrated at times throughout the game, most notably his penalty in the second period.
Goaltending has been a “buzz” word this weekend and in this game. Despite his shaky start, it was Urbani going the distance and it was the Vees who would use both goalies. Nic Renyard put in a very solid 40 minutes but started to feel under the weather in the second intermission; his night was done. Renyard picked up the win with 15 saves on 18 shots, and also stopped a Justin Georgeson penalty-shot.
Do the Vees have their own Schneider-Luongo crease controversy? I would say no. Hey, Nic Renyard was great in the last two games but Chad Katunar did look like his old self in the third period. Remember, Katunar was seeing action for the first time in two weeks. At this level, having TWO, not just one guy, you can start on any given night is a bonus not a distraction. If the playoffs started today, who would I put in? Hey, I’m not the coach; just the broadcaster.
A couple of slump-busters today, as Wade Murphy scored his first goal in seven games, and Sam Mellor got his first in six. Before today, the Vees got 11 goals from eight different players, and that doesn’t include Murphy or Mellor; scary if you think about it. This team flexed its offensive muscle this weekend but also has shown off their impressive depth too.