Ben Dalpe 1st Intermission
Dustin Forbes 2nd Intermission
- The Vees for the second straight game find a way to win despite some inconsistencies and you have to admire that; good teams just find ways to win. Friday they didn’t put their best foot forward, as they struggled in their own zone and gave up too many chances for their liking in the first. Chilliwack put 18 shots on the Vees net in the first 20 minutes. May I remind you, the Chiefs just had 16 total when these two first met back on November 30th.
- Sometimes you need your goalie to bail you out and the Vees got that from Olivier Manth; not often they’ve needed that. They were unsettled in their own end early but Mantha was there to answer the call time and again. He was terrific in the first, turning aside all 18 he faced and made a handful of eye-catching saves. His best? The clear-cut breakaway save off Austin Plevy. Plevy was in the clear from the Vees blue-line, on what was an essentially a two-on-oh rush. Plevy put on his Patrick Kane cape but the Vees ‘tender didn’t bite and out-waited Plevy with a great right pad save.
- Goaltending like that, especially on the road can go a long way and it did tonight. The Vees were trying to find their footing and their goaltender was there until they settled down somewhat in the second. Mantha wasn’t necessarily technically sound but he battled all game long. On occasion he didn’t handle a shot cleanly but was there clearing a rebound or fighting through traffic to make the secondary save. Mantha’s performance gave his team a big boost and I’m sure was a confidence booster for himself.
- Sometimes when you go to the right areas, you get lucky. Travis Blanleil found a soft spot at the edge of the Chiefs crease and wallah, the puck bounces right to him for a tap-in. The play happened because of the great work Matt Serratore and Cody DePourcq did in winning a puck battle in the corner after a dump-in; puck retrieval.
- Another win where Brad McClure only picks up one point. Not saying he needed to be better, as he looked to have five-six shots on goal. Point being, the Vees are continuing to get secondary scoring and timely scoring at that. Six goals from six different players and 14 found the scoresheet. Another goal for Jack Ramsey, two in two games and guys like Travis Blanleil, Max Coatta and even an AP stepped up; secondary scorers again stealing the spotlight.
- Mitch Newsome, just 16-years-old, looked he belonged out there. He showed a lot of poise with and without the puck, was always involved in the play, drove the net and went to the dirty areas. His goal was the result of going to the net and knowing where the puck was going; good hockey sense. What a thrill it must have been for him, scoring his first BCHL goal close to home and in just his second game; the kid could be playing in the league right now.
- Lots went down in that second period. A lot. After just one goal on 28 combined shots in the first, the teams combined for six goals on 31 shots in the second; the Vees bagging four. Already talked about Jack Ramsey pitching in but what a pretty goal he score-again. He’s showing a lot of confidence and that was evident on his goal when he pulled-off another nifty deke. Ramsey now has goals in back-to-back games and four in his last six.
- Credit the Vees for pushing back in the second after the Chiefs scored twice in 43 seconds to tie; a lot of teams would have wilted there. The Vees clutched up (it’s a word now) on a key five-on-three power-play sequence. Remember, the Chiefs get the game tied, then the Vees lose Brett Beauvais for the rest of the game after he took a checking-from-behind penalty. So, the BCHL leader in power-play assists wasn’t available for that all important five-on-three. In steps Paul Stoykewych, moving up from the second to first power-play unit. He starts the play on the 3-2 goal, as he spots Brad McClure, who then threads the needle to Ben Dalpe at the back-post. Then, on the ensuing five-on-four, Stoykewych makes sure to get his point-shot through traffic to give Steen Cooper the chance to redirect the puck; he did. Two power-play goals in just sixty seconds that drastically swung the game in the Vees favour.
- It wasn’t the best showing from the Vees defense tonight but they did an admirable job for half the game playing a man short. Stoykewych and Patrick Sexton, who both had their own struggles, pulled up their socks and took on the extra minutes and played a big part in the win; remember no Chris Rygus who sat out with the flu.
- Going forward, it’s six in a row and you don’t want to get caught up in critiquing wins, but the Vees know they need to be better early. Tomorrow, with a busy travel day to Vancouver Island, they can’t afford to come out slow. As the team’s saying goes, “don’t let the game start without you.”
- All in all, a greasy road win and credit the Vees for finding a way to come out of the game with two points. Crazy to say but this team can play better and we’ll likely see a stronger performance come Saturday; have to.