GM #17 Post-Game: Running on “E”



  • The headline tonight pretty much sums it up for the Vees Saturday. This team simply ran out of gas. It appeared last night’s double-overtime win, and not just the physical toll of that game but the emotional one as well, drained the Vees. They were running on fumes tonight as they hit the wall when the second period rolled around.
  • Remember, last night was a tug-o-war with Vernon, the game before that a five period saw-off in Langley and two other one goal games against West Kelowna and Merritt (another double-overtime game). It’s been a grind, a demanding schedule in the last two weeks and it all came to a head Saturday.
  • The Vees only had three regular defensemen for this one, as they were missing Alex Coulombe, Brett Beauvais and Paul Stoykewych. One new addition and two AP’s filled out the blue-line. Salmon Arm was short-staffed too, missing five regulars and only had five defenseman dressed.
  • Newcomer Clint Filbrandt looked pretty solid considering the circumstances. He met the team in Salmon Arm after driving six hours from the Kootenays. No practice, no formal introductions for Filbrandt. He got to the rink, shook some hands then went right out of warm-up. I liked his game tonight, as he was positioned well in his own zone, made some nice plays with his stick and didn’t look out of place. Now it will be interesting to see how much more he can grow, with actual practice under his belt and time to adjust to his new surroundings.
  • The blue-line did a lot of heavy lifting tonight, as Chris Rygus, Patrick Sexton and Jarod Hilderman stepped up and logged some big minutes. It isn’t easy be taxed with trying to pick up the slack from absentees. The three will likely have some stiff legs in the morning but should be commended for their efforts tonight.
  • Fatigue was evident in the Vees game tonight. A pretty good first period, as they looked to have a lot of jump but near the midway mark of the second they bottomed out. The 2-1 goal seemed to deflate the Vees, as the spent so much energy battling up until that point. The effort was there, never in question but the legs weren’t responding.
  • Fatigue doesn’t affect the player just physically but mentally as well. Once your start to get tired, so too does your brain and that’s when poor decisions creep in. The Vees weren’t turnover happy but had more than we’re use to seeing and that’s because of being flat out tired.
  • The offense also was affected, as the team struggled to generate much in the way of chances in the final two periods. When your tired, it’s hard to get your feet going and get into scoring positions. The shots started to tail off and so did the scoring chances in the final thirty minutes.
  • Hunter Miska was the Vees best player and was worthy of his Third Star selection. Would not pin blame on him for any of the four goals against. He did make some great saves, a nice glove save off of Landon Smith and a desperation arm save on the goal-line against Evan Anderson. Also there was that breakaway save in the second where he just go his arm on the shot.
  • Bit of extenuating circumstances when commenting on special teams, as they were missing three players who have key roles on both the power-play and penalty-kill. The Vees weren’t undisciplined, as they only took three minors; two through two periods. Coaches always stress about keeping penalties at or below three. But the PK just couldn’t get a kill at a key time. Salmon Arm scores their first two on the man-advantage, the second in the middle frame seemed to deflate the Vees. I will circle back to the fatigue factor, as the Vees usually do a good job tracking pucks on the PK. Tonight they seemed a step behind and credit Salmon Arm for zipping the puck around and finding soft spots in coverage.
  • Can’t read too much into tonight but the Vees are now win less in five straight road games; just one point in those five. Their last road win was in Trail back on September 14th but Assistant Coach Steve Cawley did make a good point in the post-game show. He points to just one road game as a bad showing and that was on September 25th in Vernon. The rest have been close: 4-3 in Prince George, 1-1 in Langley and the other loss in Salmon Arm (5-2), the Vees played pretty good for larges stretches of the game. It is a results orientated business and this team needs to adapt their home success on the road. They play with a lot of confidence at the SOEC but at times can be a bit fragile on the road when things don’t go their way. Whatever has been working at home, bottle it and pack it on the bus for the Island Division road trip.
  • That’s as far as I want to go, as this game doesn’t give an accurate reading on the team. It was a short-staffed crew that ran out of juice. That’s it. They tried but it just wasn’t going to work tonight. Time to rest up for 13 days, get back to practice, fine-tune some details and get ready for a tough road trip.

About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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