Jan 5th 3-2 (2 OT) Vees (SOEC)
Jan 11th 2-1 Eagles (South Surrey Arena)
Fred Page Cup Schedule
Game 1 5-2 Eagles (SSA)
Game 2 2-0 Eagles (SSA)
Game 3 Monday, April 15th (SOEC)
Game 4 Tuesday, April 16th (SOEC)
Game 5**Thursday, April 18th (SSA)
Game 6** Sunday, April 21st (SOEC)
Game 7** Monday, April 22nd (SSA)
** If necessary
Games in Surrey are at 7:15pm
Games three & four in Penticton are at 7pm; game six is at 5pm
Vees power-play: 11-48 (22.92%) Home: 6-24 (25%)
Vees penalty-kill: 34-39 (87.81%) Home: 15-16 (93.75%)
Eagles power-play: 12-64 (18.75%) Road: 6-27 (22.22%)
Eagles penalty-kill: 39-43 (90.70%) Road:13-16 (81.25%)
Vees Home Playoff Record: 5-0-0 GF: 21 GA: 10 (To date: 24-7-0-2)
Eagles Road Playoff Record: 5-0-0 GF: 23 GA: 11 (To date: 21-8-1-3)
The Fred Page Cup Final shifts to the South Okanagan Events Centre for Game Three, as the Penticton Vees look to cut into the Surrey Eagles 2-0 series lead. The Eagles held serve on home ice over the weekend, picking a 5-2 win in Game One and then shutting out the Vees 2-0 in Game Two on Saturday.
After losing the opener, the Vees were a determined group in Game Two, as they were looking to take a series split back to the South Okanagan. But Surrey’s Michael Santaguida had other ideas. The Eagles puck-stopper turned aside all fifty, yes, fifty shots he faced, including twenty-one in the third period for his fourth shutout of the post-season. The Vees find themselves in a two-game hole despite firing eighty-three shots at the Eagles net in the series.
One perfect record will be no more after tonight, as the Vees put their perfect 5-0 home record up against the Eagles 5-0 road mark. The Vees last loss on home-ice in the BCHL playoffs, was Game Two of their Interior Conference Final against Merritt last spring; eight straight wins. Yes, they did lose game three of the Doyle Cup if you want to count that; 9-1 in their past 10 home playoff games.
The Vees were shutout for just the second time this season on Saturday but if history is any indication, this team knows how to respond. The only other time the Vees were blanked, was back on February 8th; 1-0 at home to the Cents’. The next outing the Vees pumped eight past the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
They may be down two games in the series but there is still plenty of positives to draw from Game Two. One, the Vees put fifty shots on net, regardless of where they came from, putting 50 on the opposition isn’t to be overlooked. They cranked up the pressure in third period but couldn’t break the goose-egg despite firing 21 shots on net. To turn things around tonight, they’re going to send more traffic to the Eagles net and get in front of their goalie. As the cliché goes, a goalie can’t stop what he can’t see; surely that still holds weight doesn’t it?
Another point that I’ve hammered home enough but bears mentioning once more, is the fact the Vees have to stay out of the penalty box. They’ve been a very good team five-on-five in the series, and I would say in four of the six periods they’ve had the slight edge in play. But the Eagles have taken advantage of the Vees lack of discipline and that’s been the difference. Three power-play goals and one shortie against and no power-play goals to speak of in four games.
Also playing at home may be the kick in the butt a few of the Vees need to get their offensive touch back. Sam Mellor has seven points at home in these playoffs and is closely followed by Louie Nanne and Brad McClure who each have six points at the SOEC. That’s three key pieces in the Vees offensive arsenal that will need to be going tonight. There are others when I look down the list but simply put is this team has thrived when playing at home.
Looks to be the same line-up the Vees iced for Game Two. Cam Amantea will play alongside Cody DePourcq and Cam Amantea. Outside of that, everyone is good to go and Chad Katunar will get his twelfth straight start.
The Eagles are looking to take a stranglehold on the series with a win and are the hottest team going right now. They’ve gone about winning eleven straight games dating back to March 18th. Five of those eleven wins have come on road, as mentioned they’re perfect away from home. However, this team is beatable, everyone is.
The Eagles have been great in the special teams area and have a knack of bending but not breaking when playing inside their own zone. That’s no slight, but a team that knows how to shut it down where they need to most; in front of the net. They don’t worry about shots against, just listen to Matt Erhart’s post-game comments after Game Two. The defensive attitude is more focused on stopping or limiting quality chances; the volume is not a concern.
Their depth players have stepped up in the series, or should I say their secondary scoring. The Eagles “big three” has picked up their points, more so Michael Stenerson but it’s the guys right behind them making major contributions. Nic Pierog has two goals in this series and seven in the post-season. Demico Hannoun, who plays on the second-line, has two goals and three points in two games and is averaging a point per-game in the post-season. If one line isn’t going, it seems like another one is stepping in to fill the void; that’s how good teams win.
As I’ve eluded to, this team has been road warriors in the post-season. Five wins in as many games and it’s the “big three” leading the charge. Brady Shaw has four goals and 10 points in those five games and just behind him is Michael Stenerson (5-4-9) and Adam Tambellini (7-1-8). Nine players have three or more points on the road; 12 with two or more. The Eagles don’t seem to be a team that plays differently when away from the South Surrey Arena; much like the Vees.
The Eagles do have two line-up changes, as Tommy Stipancik, who missed game two, is back to play on the blue-line. Upfront, Stefan Burzan who was a game-time decision Saturday, won’t play tonight. AP Anthony Brito will fill his spot and wear number eighty-six.