Game 1 4-2 Vees (SOEC)
Game 3 Mar 18th (Shaw Centre)
Game 4 Mar 19th (Shaw Centre)
Game 5** Mar 21st (SOEC)
Game 6** Mar 22nd (Shaw Centre)
Game 7** Mar 24th (SOEC)
All games are at 7pm
** If necessary
The Vees scored and scored first and kept on scoring in the first two periods, as they jumped out to an early lead in the series with a 4-2 win Friday. Depth was on display, as four different Vees found the back of the net, and there was contributions from up and down the line-up.
Though there was some questionable shot totals, I thought the Vees were very good defensively on Friday, not giving up much in the way of juicy scoring chances. The ‘Backs had a good sequence in the second period on a power-play but the Vees put on a shot-blocking clinic and didn’t really give the ‘Backs a sniff at the net.
It’s a game of inches, bounces and mistakes in the playoffs, and fortunately for the Vees all three went their way. They controlled the pace for most of the game, got a fortuitous bounce on their second goal and pucks around their crease, and didn’t have any real serious gaffes on their side of red-line.
Salmon Arm looked a bit frustrated as they really couldn’t get anything going offensively despite a good push-off the start. To me, they looked a bit tired as the game wore on, my thinking all the travel and come-from-behind hockey in recent weeks might have caught up with them. Their number one in Adam Clark had an off night too and they got into too deep of a hole to climb out of. The ‘Backs know they will have to create more and by doing that, get more rubber on Chad Katunar.
Louie Nanne 1-1-2 Sam Mellor 0-2-2
Travis Blanleil 1-0-1 James de Haas 1-0-1
John Siemer 1-0-1 Brad McClure 0-1-1
Thomas Nitsche 0-1-1 Mike Rebry 0-1-1
Bryan Sinz 0-1-1 Troy Stecher 0-1-1
Chad Katunar 1-0-0 2.00 GAA .905 SV%
Vees Regular Season Scoring vs. Salmon Arm
Sam Mellor 2-7-9 Troy Stecher 2-6-8
Wade Murphy 3-3-6 Brad McClure 3-3-6
James de Haas 0-5-5 Ryan Gropp 2-0-2
Jedd Soleway 2-0-2 Mike Rebry 1-1-2
Cam Amantea 1-1-2 Travis Blanleil 1-0-1
Jordan McCallum 1-0-1Brock Balson 0-1-1
Sean Flanagan 0-1-1 Louie Nanne 0-1-1
Bryan Sinz 0-1-1
Chad Katunar GP 7 5-1-0-1 .944 SV % 2 SO
Vees Playoff Special Teams:
Power-Play: 1-4 (25%) (1 SHGA)
Penalty-Kill 2-2 (100%)
Vees Regular Season Special Teams vs. Salmon Arm
Power-Play: 8-33 (Home: 3-18)
Penalty-Kill: 28-30 (Home: 18-19)
Josh Bowes 1-1-2
Brett Fagerheim 1-0-1
Brayden Sherbinin 0-1-1
Adam Clark 0-1-0 6.00 GAA .667 SV%
Angus Redmond 0-0-0 0.00 GAA 1.00 SV% (20 Minutes 10/10)
An opportunity to grab a sizable lead in the series for the Vees tonight. A win and they’re up 2-0 and going to Salmon Arm in the driver’s seat. A loss and they lose home-ice advantage and Salmon Arm has the momentum. Playoffs are about momentum and which team can do the most with it. The Vees could be described as cautiously optimistic after game one. They’re happy with the result and taking care of business in game one but know the heavy lifting only has just begun.
There was lots of positives in their performance, as they did what they wanted to and I would argue the better team in all three zones. After making some adjusts defensively in the early going, the Vees really did clamp down and didn’t give Salmon Arm much. They took away the middle of the ice and forced the ‘Backs attackers to the outside and in odd-man puck battles.It just seemed like the Vees were winning the little scrums and battles along the boards and in the corners and always seemed to be outnumbering the ‘Backs in those situations; good puck support.
What to Watch For
- Continuing to establish a physical element right from the beginning. The Vees need to keep bumping and grinding the Salmon Arm puck carriers. Shane Hanna was held in-check as the Vees did not give him much room to get his legs moving. Brayden Sherbinin was let loose a few times but the Vees seemed to always find away to put a shoulder into him. More of the same tonight, as the Vees have to make Salmon Arm puck carriers pay a price when crossing into their zone.
- Closing off the middle of the ice. Both teams did a good job really of this, as there wasn’t much wiggle room between the circles. The Vees were consistent with not allowing a black jersey to penetrate between the circles and when they were in the slot the Vees got bodies in the way. It just seemed if the ‘Backs did work the puck to the middle, there was a whole host of bodies there to snuff out any scoring chance. Being physical, standing up at the blue-line and angling off attackers will keep the scoring areas relatively Salmon Arm free.
- Blocking shots. At one point, in the second period, the Vees reminded me of the batting cage scene in Happy Gilmore (Warning NSFW language). That’s the mentality the Vees will need to have in game two. Get in front of everything that comes off a Salmon Arm stick. They did a great job last night as the ‘Backs were only “officially” credited with 21 shots.
Who to Watch
Mike Rebry: To put it politely, the kid is due. He had a couple of chances last night but was betrayed by bouncing pucks and misfires. The encouraging thing he is still creating and getting into scoring lanes. A red flag would go up if he wasn’t in the mix game in and game out. I liked his line with Brad McClure and John Siemer, as the three seem to have something going and created a few good chances in the first forty-minutes. “Rebs” is going through a dry spell which seems to hit every player over the course of the season. His attitude about his scoring struggles has been fantastic and he’s an unselfish player and continues to make things happen when he’s on the ice. I got a good feeling about tonight for Rebry.
“Adam Clark had a rough go in his playoff debut allowing four goals on twelve shots and was lifted after the second period in favour of Angus Redmond. In his relief appearance, Redmond stopped all 10 shots he faced and with that maybe created some talk on who will start game two.”
That from game preview for the Vees website ahead of game two. Sure enough Angus Redmond will start tonight,well according to the line-up the Silverbacks submitted. Clark never really looked comfortable, and didn’t play up to his ability; remember he was the teams co-MVP from the regular season. Redmond did play against the Vees in February, making 22 saves in a 2-1 loss at the SOEC on February 15th. I have been impressed by what I have seen in four periods from the ‘Backs other goalie. He was sharp in the third period last night stopping all 10 shots he faced and will be tasked with stopping the Vees and getting his team a split.
Outside of the change in-goal, nothing else changes for the ‘Backs ahead of game two. What needs to Change?
What to Watch For
- A better effort in getting to the Vees net. No this isn’t easy but the ‘Backs struggled with getting into good scoring positions. They had their moments but it wasn’t consistent enough over the three periods. In the playoffs every inch of ice is contested and the ‘Backs will need to start winning the battles and get into shooting lanes. Last night they had their struggles and couldn’t penetrate the middle of the ice. Give credit to the Vees, as they did a good job in sealing off the middle, but the ‘Backs will need to get to Chad Katunar and increase his workload exponentially.
- Getting Pucks on Net. Continuing from the previous point, driving the net will mean getting some pucks on Chad Katunar. The shots on goal officials were stingy last night but the ‘Backs need to get more rubber on the Vees goal. When they do find themselves in a scoring position, they will have to get the puck through the heavy traffic. The Vees were blocking shots all over the place on Friday and the ‘Backs can’t let that happen again.