Game Highlights: Vees 3 Trail 2
- Big news before the game, as the Vees announced the signing of 20 year-old forward Shane McColgan. The California native was a point-per game player in the Western Hockey League over parts of five seasons with the Kelowna Rockets, Saskatoon Blades and most recently the Portland Winterhawks. A huge get for the Vees to strengthen an already talented forward core. McColgan arrives Sunday afternoon in Penticton and will be on the ice Monday for his first official workout for the team.
- To the game itself and it followed a similar script to Friday’s contest in Vernon. Saturday the Vees started off well, pressured the Smokies early and often and generated quite a few chances. They directed 16 shots at the Trail net, had eight grade ‘A’ scoring chances, yet trailed going into the intermission. A head scratcher.
- Well, the Smokies caught a lucky break, or should I say lucky edge. Brett Beauvais took a tumble at the blue-line right after a face-off in the Trail zone. That spilled created an odd-man rush for the Smokies and Braeden Cross picked out Riley Brandt, who tucked a wrist-shot underneath the bar. You just had a feeling that play was going to finish with a Trail goal. It just had bad luck written all over it and the Smokies didn’t squander the opportunity.
- Like I said, a similar story to Friday, were the Vees found themselves down a goal, despite a pretty good opening period on the road.
- Where Saturday differs from Friday is in how the Vees started the second period. Saturday they were a touch sluggish in the first six-minutes and that resulted in Dylan Mascarin putting the Smokies up by two; Vees fans starting to sweat a bit.
- But the Mascarin goal did more good for the Vees than it did for Trail, as Brad McClure scored just 58 seconds later. That’s why he’s the Captain and that’s why he’s known as a clutch player. Scoring so quickly after Trail went ahead by two helped stem the tide. However, credit Jarod Hilderman for doing a lot of the heavy lifting on that goal. His original dump-in attempt hurt Nathan Browne, allowing Hilderman to get the puck back and blow by the defender wide. Hilderman made a nice move to the right goal-line before dishing the puck out from to McClure.
- It shows how much confidence this organization has in the 16-year-old, when they’re OK with dealing a 20-year-old veteran defenseman at the trade deadline. Hilderman has looked terrific in his last two games and is on the books for just one turnover in the last two games combined. The coaching staff had a lot of faith in him tonight, as he saw a lot of ice, including a fair chunk of time on the penalty-kill.
- Jack Ramsey made one heck of a play on the tying goal. Alex Coulombe had his blast from the point stopped but Ramsey dug the puck loose and from behind the goal-line, somehow got it over to an open Ben Dalpe at the back-post. Ramsey had little time or real estate to pull off that move. Impressive.
- Great to see Patrick Sexton grab the spotlight with his late heroics in the second period. Great sequence where he barked for the puck, got it and then ripped it through a maze of bodies and past Adam Todd. The celebration was as good, as Sexton pantomimed throwing the monkey off his back; signifying an end to a long scoring drought. 37 games in fact. Look, Paddy is not here to score goals but it’s still great to see him contribute at the offensive end. Neat fact, both of his goals this year are against Trail and have come at Cominco Arena. He scored his first goal as a Vee in Trail back on September 14th. The bad news? The Vees are finished visiting Trail for the season. Sorry Paddy.
- Matt Serratore can’t buy a goal right now. Seriously, all of his credit cards are being declined.In all seriousness, He himself generated four scoring chances in the second period and two came in short succession. His first was on a partial breakaway after he found a seam down the middle. Serratore quickly blew past the defender but his wrist-shot was padded away. On the same shift, Serratore walked out of the corner with the puck but had it roll off his stick, as he made a move to the net on his back-hand; It’ll come.
- Second straight game against the Smoke Eaters, the Vees have erased a 2-0 second period deficit and won 3-2.
- Look, if it wasn’t for Adam Todd’s heroics, this game would have been out of hand early. Todd was terrific in the first and second period and was more than deserving of his second start selection.
- Power-Play has hit a snag, now 1 for 19 in the Vees last four games but I thought there was a lot to like tonight. The Vees generated quite a few chances on their five power-plays tonight and I thought they could have had two or three PP goals tonight. At least the PK was razor sharp, picking up a short-handed goal and shutout Trail on six opportunities.
- Another character win on the road and again in a tough environment. Friday, they gutted out a 2-1 win in a playoff like battle with the Vipers. Saturday, they work through the cramped confines of Cominco and come back against a desperate Smokies team. Despite having just 10 skaters, the Smokies came at the Vees hard from start to finish and could afford to, as Saturday was Trail’s only game of the weekend.
- It will never be a Picasso when you play in Trail, but the Vees did paint a perfect picture; two points.