Highlights Vees 6 Warriors 3
The Vees always seem to find a way to take “W’s” away from the West Kelowna Warriors. Tonight the Vees used a strong second period to double-up the Tribe 6-3. The Vees finish their five game stretch away from the SOEC with a 3-1-0-1 record, with their first home game in 22 days coming tomorrow against Nanaimo.
A snapshot of the Interior Division after Friday’s results; pretty tight eh? The Vees remain atop of the Division, one up on Vernon and Merritt who played each other Friday; the Vipers pulling out a 4-3 OT win. As you can see from the graphic above, the Vees own the best goals-against and winning percentage in the Division.
- This was a thoroughly entertaining hockey game, with plenty of back and forth action between these two teams. The game had a good flow to it from start to finish and you could just sense this was more that just another game in November; it meant something.
- Eventful start for Anthony Conti Friday. He was dinged with a high sticking penalty not even two minutes in, but goes on to score the opening goal at 7:50. A heads-up play by the Vees power forward to drive the net as Max Coatta was working into the slot. Coatta somehow forced the puck to the net and awaiting was Conti for the redirect. Both his goals came within feet of the net and that’s where he’s going to find success in this league. His second goal was a tip from a Brad McClure point-shot in the second period, when he was camped out right in front of the Warriors net. He’s big and starting to figure out how to use his body to his advantage.
- That line of Conti, Jack Ramsey and Max Coatta looked pretty good on Friday. Ramsey in particular had another strong game for the Vees. He attacks the middle of the ice and doesn’t shy away from the physical play. There was a few times when Ramsey knew he was going to get hit but still made the right play. You can’t teach guts and Conti and Ramsey have more than enought for the role they play with the team.
- Huinter Miska, as Assistant Coach Steve Cawley mentioned in the Post-Game show, was the Vees best player. He was fantastic in the first period when the Warriors made a real hard push. Miska turned aside all 12 in the first period and made several key stops, including a great stick save off of Reid Simmonds. He did surrender three but Miska was dynamite and made the “key” save when called upon. It was Miska’s first start at RLP and you could notice he was trying to familiarize himself with the bounces off the end wall. He looked prepared, confident and relaxed in-goal; a winning formula.
- The Vees were an opportunistic bunch but sometimes good teams don’t need chances by the truck load. They made smart plays on their goals, including Conti crashing the net. The second goal right off a face-off, where an unmarked Max Coatta sniped from the slot, and Cam Amantea spotted daylight at the post when he squeezed his eighth early in the third. Brad McClure’s goal was all about hustle, as he out-raced two defenders before jamming the puck through Cody Porter.
- I liked the Vees transition game and ability to enter the Warriors end but they lacked sustained pressure in the offense zone. They did a really good job of getting the puck out of their zone, through the neutral zone and in the West K end. Assistant Coach Cawley said his team has to learn how to better hang onto pucks in the offensive zone.
- Seems odd to say when your team scores six goals but I liked the defensive efforts of all six on the blue-line. The defenseman were good at quickly getting the puck out of the Vees zone before there was pressure. Paddy Sexton was one of the best Vees out there on Friday. He played some hard minutes and against the other teams best forwards. He rarely got stuck in bad spots and was very good at getting out that first pass. He seems to have found his timing, as Sexton isn’t taking himself out of position to make a hit, rather letting a hit come to him.