Brad McClure’s 2nd Goal
Clint Filbrandt Second Intermission
Fred Harbinson Pre-Game
- The coaching staff challenged the players and the players challenged themselves heading into this weekend and the team responded. All week the team had been preparing for this trip and this game and it showed Friday. Very encouraging to see the effort put out by this group tonight. They had gone win less in their previous five road games and knew they needed to nip that in the butt.
- Something I didn’t know but was pointed out in the post-game show, was the players held a meeting amongst themselves post-practice on Wednesday before the team headed out on this trip. Great to see that type of maturity and then to see them respond to the pressure that was put on themselves. Friday is the definition of a character win.
- From my pre-game write-up talking about much-needed secondary scoring, “These guys aren’t suppose to carry the mail so to speak but are counted on to help out with the secondary scoring. It would be a huge boost for the team if we see these guys start to find their touch around the net again. Goals from these guys can be a big momentum boost in a game; those TSN turning points.” Well, Matt Serratore scored his first in seven games, Jack Ramsey picked up his first in nine games. Serratore’s goal might have been the key moment that swung the game in the Vees favour. They were playing very well after tying the game and struck a bit of luck when the puck deflected off a skate in the Kings crease. Now, they had the lead but they earned it after a very well-played period. That goal could have been deflating for the Kings, especially it being inside the final minute of the period.
- If Serratore’s goal wasn’t the turning point, Travis Blanleil’s sure was. Great hustle on the play that led to the penalty shot. He worked his way into the Kings zone, split the defenders and still got a shot off while being mugged. He didn’t squander his penalty-shot and showed a lot of poise, with a nice head fake before snapping it inside the far-post. Blanleil has two more points (14) in 18 games, then he had all of last year in 46 games. Assistant Coach Steve Cawley said on the post-game show, Blanleil would have not scored on that play last year. He’s right, Blanleil is a more confident player and that penalty shot was a prime example.
- The Vees are two for two on penalty-shot’s this season. Brett Beauvais scored against Vernon in double-overtime back on October 25th.
- Seven goals matches the Vees best output to date, as they scored seven against Trail back on September 14th. Funny enough that was their last road win before tonight. Now, I’m not saying they need to score seven again Saturday and Sunday. Just an odd stat.
- No real rust shown tonight, despite a 13 day break between games. OK, there might have been a few jitters early but that Kings goal didn’t faze this team, more so focused them; a kick in the butt. The Vees were sharp with their passing and worked the puck out of their own zone quickly. There puck pursuit and retrieval was very good too, as they seemed to win a lot of races to pucks in the corners, especially in the offensive end.
- A few new look line combinations and they worked well. I like Cam Amantea with Ben Dalpe and Brad McClure; Amantea and McClure had three goals between each other. Max Coatta, Anthony Conti and Jack Ramsey worked well together. I liked seeing Coatta flanked by two bigger wingers. Ramsey and Conti were great on the walls and in the corners, which gave Coatta some time and space to create chances.
- Don’t look past the work of Riley Alferd, Jake Ahlgren and Josh Blanchard. Those three played on the “fourth line” and were very effective in using their speed to eat up time in the offensive zone.
- I could go on and on about the effort from the team but that’s the point, everyone was buying in on Friday; no passengers.
- Was a bit apprehensive about the latter moments of the second, when the Kings looked frustrated. You can’t fault them for wanting to lay the body and maybe start a scrap or two. No one wants to get spanked at home in front of their fans. Luckily nothing came of it as things calmed down once the third period started. Tough spot for the Vees, as fighting at that moment does no good for them and you don’t want to risk injury or suspension at the beginning of a road trip.
- Wouldn’t read too much into the special teams stats. Encouraging to see the power-play score at a key time and quickly. The PK did give up two goals but look at the timing of both goals. Dorantes’ was a nice shot, finding day-light underneath Mantha’s arm early in the first. Aiden Wright fired a shot from the point off the post and in late in the game. It reads Powell River, two for three but the penalty-kill isn’t under the microscope. The two goals didn’t have much bearing in this one.
- Brad McClure was leading by example yet again, as he finished with a game high five points (2-3-5) and first star honours. Both his goals showed off his hands and when the Captain scores, it does nothing but good.
- Brett Beauvais quietly went about picking up four assists. He leads all BCHL defensemen in scoring and is 27th overall. Clearly, he wasn’t a good choice for Team Canada West.
- Coaches talk about developing good habits and tonight is hopefully the start of a good weekend. The Vees did a lot of little things well and were fundamentally sound. By my count the Kings were held to single-digit scoring chances and didn’t have much going offensively.
- Work Smart and hard. The Vees are now 8-0-0-1 when they lead after the first and 8-0-0-1 when leading after the second. Playing with the lead is much different then playing catch up hockey, which can wear you down. Playing from behind can get you in trouble and especially on a road trip like this one. This team, like most, looks more comfortable when ahead. That doesn’t mean they can’t come back, as they’re now 4-2-1-0 when the opposition scores first and 4-1-0-0 when the opposition leads after one. But why make it hard on yourself? Tonight can go along way in setting yourself up for a successful weekend. Legs will be fresher for tomorrow, as the minutes were spread out. Trying to come from behind can mean tired legs and that doesn’t bode well on weekends like this.
Next stop, Nanaimo.