Ben Dalpe, 1st Intermission
Zach Urban, 2nd Intermission
When you’re the Penticton Vees, you’re going to get everyone’s best. Everyone’s. The thing is this team has to give it’s best too; tonight they didn’t. Just too many mistakes committed by a team that is known for its disciplined, structured and near mistake free hockey. It was a rare night off for the Vees on the defensive side of the puck, as both the defense and forwards made careless mistakes, turned the puck over in bad spots and missed assignments.
I don’t know If I see the Vees have the issues they did tonight but hey, it’s a long season and junior hockey is all about the ups and downs and how you manage them. The silver lining in tonight’s frustration, is the fact these guys will get up tomorrow / this morning and get ready for another game. That’s the beauty of being at this level, you have little time to stew over a loss and they’re is definitely a few players who will be stewing.
Credit the Langley Rivermen who were a pesky bunch and team that the Vees couldn’t close the door on. They had a great start in the first, were pushed on their heels in the second but rebounded in the third period when it counted; four wins in a row isn’t a fluke. That’s four wins over Chilliwack, Salmon Arm, Prince George and Penticton; no push overs.
For now, follow the links above to get you scoop on tonight’s 5-4 loss. It’s late and I will save my thoughts for the morning. A quick turnaround for the Vees but one they’ll gladly welcome.
Scatter Thoughts From Friday’s Loss
- Troublesome start-again. Up until the last two weeks,this team has taken a lot of pride in how well they’re prepared and in turn, how well they start games. Tuesday they were on shaky ground, giving up two in the first six minutes. Friday it was the same story, surrendering two in the first eight. Now, both instances this team has found a way to claw back and erase those deficits. BUT that takes a lot of work and can be draining. Why make it so hard on yourself? This team has shown they can come out flying and have several times this season; they’re 11-3-0-2 when they score first. In their last three, they’ve given up the first goal, and in their last two, given up the first two. Not a trend that’s going in the right direction. Time to get zero’d in, the coaching staff prepares these guys like no other. Time the players start to translate that on the ice.
- Puck Management-Usually a strength of this hockey team, it was their weakness Friday. In the first period, they turned the puck over far too many times in bad spots. The Vees were trying to force plays to the middle of their own zone far too often and it was creating prime scoring chances for the Rivermen. This team is usually very good at clean breakouts, as they pride themselves on a clean transition game. Friday they were bogged down by sloppy plays inside their own blue-line. The first, third, fourth and fifth goal against were direct results of poor puck management inside the Vees zone. The fourth and fifth were killer, as they came less than a minute and a half apart. The Vees Saturday will have to be much better with their decision-making and execution inside their own zone. Make hard play on the puck; make sure the puck is going to get out.
- Push Back-It was there and more than once. A silver lining was this teams ability to overcome adversity and not just once. Three times the Vees came back down to tie and then in the third they grabbed their first and only lead. Even when you’re leading games, you’re going to get pushed and pressed by your opposition and it’s up to you on how to respond. The Vees came out guns a blazing in the second, turning the game on its edge and tying it up at two’s heading into the break. Then after an early goal against in the opening seconds of the third, Brett Beauvais and Brad McClure team up for a memorable four-minute sequence. McClure is “Captain Clutch” for a reason, as he setup the game tying goal in the third, then scored the Vees go-ahead goal minutes later-What. A. Shot. WOW. Two goals and four points on Friday for the Captain. The Vees didn’t wilt last night, and could have on several occasions. They showed some mental toughness with their “never say die attitude” but again, to circle back to my original thought, this team can’t keep putting themselves in tough spots.