Three Stars: RD 2 GM 4 (5-4 OTL)

Soleway

Game Story / Boxscore / Pictures 

FT_ThreeStars 1) Pedal to the Metal? Before I go any further, credit the Warriors for one heck of a third period. They played liked the should and that’s a  desperate team that doesn’t want their season to end; tip of the cap.

However, the Vees were up 4-1 and had never lost in regulation when leading through two periods in the regular season; only two overtime blemishes. So they’re up by three, yes, you’re going to be slightly more conservative than usual as you want to protect that sizable lead. But I saw a team that was maybe too cautious and with that unable to match the Warriors in the period. The Tribe created a lot with their speed during their third period rally.

The Vees were caught running around far too much in their own zone in the third. It wasn’t just one player or just the defense, as the forwards didn’t do enough in supporting their defensemen in their own end. West Kelowna kept coming, as though they sensed something. The Vees were also uncharacteristically sloppy at times with the puck, making mistakes you just don’t usually see from this team. Far too many turnovers and not enough hard plays when they needed them.

The Tribe were full value, don’t get me wrong here, as they emptied the tank but the Vees just didn’t seem to have an answer in that third period. It felt like the ice was tilted in the Warriors favour. They out-shot the Vees and out chanced them in that period. However, the sky isn’t falling yet and the Vees know they will need to tidy it up before game five. Get back to what we saw in game three.

Now, were the Vees scaling it back, not going as hard as they should? Don’t really buy that but at times they were  too passive with the Warriors and that’s not just in the Vees end of the rink.No matter how you draw it up, losing a game when you’re up and  by more than one is disheartening. A reminder that the game isn’t over until the final whistle blows. The Vees need to transplant that second period jump over the next three periods or plus of game five.

Tomorrow the team has to put this loss behind them quickly and get ready for a big one on Thursday at the SOEC. Hey, the Warriors got over their loss in game three so there is no reason why the Vees can’t regroup and win this series on home ice.

2) Missed Opportunities  It’s always crucial to keep your opponent on the canvas for the ten count and not let them back up. Well, the Vees couldn’t keep the Tribe down and were tagged with a blow; technical knockout

The Vees had so many chances in overtime and my opinion had the edge in play in the overtime period. Brad McClure had two-three chances of his own, Wade Murphy two great looks, Jedd Soleway, Sam Mellor, Josh Blanchard, James de Haas and Troy Stecher were all close but that’s it. Just close. Murphy hit the cross-bar just seconds into the overtime period and had another great chance to score but hit Tyler Briggs in the chest. Even Bryan Sinz in the dying moments of the third period had a chance to be a hero.

After the game I’m sure there was a few players bemoaning about not bearing down and coming up with the series win. You could almost see it in their body language after a few missed shots at key times, especially in the Vees go-to players. They knew that were going to be counted on for some key chances but couldn’t deliver.

Oh well, that’s the beauty of playoffs as the sun will indeed come up today and the Vees can look ahead to game five. Show of hands, who would have taken a 3-1 series lead after four games? So being up 3-1 is still rather convincing and all it takes is one win now in their next three games.

3) Momentum Swings.: This game certainly had its fair share of momentum swings,  especially in the last two periods. The Vees put together a great push in the second but couldn’t build on that at the start of the third.

The Vees were good in the first,as they put forth a serviceable effort and was lights-out in the second and overtime periods. They exploded for four unanswered goals in the second period and looked to be well on their way to a series win; or so we thought. The Vees really did have a tough go in their end in the third but sill were just one shot away from taking the series in four. Lets see if the Vees can grab back the momentum for game five in what should be a great environment at the SOEC.

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About frodgers

Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations for the Penticton Vees
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