- I’m starting to sound like a broken record. Salmon Arm’s mastery of the Vees continued Saturday, as they picked up their fifth straight win against the Vees in a 4-1 win. In five games against the ‘Backs, the Vees have just one point out of a possible 10. The games between these two in Salmon Arm have favoured the home team, as the ‘Backs are now 3-0-0 at the Shaw Centre against Penticton and have outscored the Vees 13-5 in the three games. The ‘Backs have posted scores of 5-2, 4-2 and now 4-1 at home against the Vees.
- Tonight’s story line was opportunities. The opportunities missed by the Vees and the opportunities the ‘Backs didn’t let go to waste. After Cody DePourcq made it 1-0 early for the Vees, they had a run of three straight power-plays in a 10 minute stretch. A sequence where they had every opportunity to pull away or at least grab a 2-0 lead. But the three power-plays were shutout and sure enough, the ‘Backs score in the dying moments of the period to level the game at one’s heading into the break. Drastic momentum swing.
- The Vees power-play was a let down tonight. 0-6 but two of those opportunities came in the third when the game was out of reach, So, for argument sake lets say the Vees were 0-4 on key power-plays. In the first, already up a goal, the Vees had every opportunity to blow the game wide open. The first unit power-play had some good looks but for the most part, there was a lot of indecision. It didn’t seem like they were sure of themselves, as the puck kept getting past around, but no one wanted to be the guy to shoot it, with the exception of Brad McClure. The thing is, when the shot was taken away from Brad, no one else stepped up and started firing pucks. I suppose that happens when you’re in a bit of a funk, as you’re gripping the stick tighter and don’t want to be the guy to make a mistake. The thing is, when your thinking about not making mistakes, that’s when they usually happen.
- Inconsistency troubled the Vees once more tonight. Last night it was a sluggish first period and tonight it was a six-minute stretch in the second period. Tied at one’s the Vees just got side-tracked, as they coughed up three goals in six minutes. The ‘Backs were the recipients of a couple of bounces on two of their three goals in the period, but good teams tend to manufacture their own luck through hard work. During that stretch, the Vees got caught chasing the puck and losing body position in and around their net. Thomas Plese found a soft spot in coverage and banged-in a rebound. Brett Fagerheim crept down from the point to one-time a shot from the right-wing circle. Landon Smith also found quiet ice on the fourth goal. Going down by three quickly, on the road, against another Interior opponent, wasn’t ideal and the Vees never really got back on track.
- Credit Salmon Arm, missing four regulars, they showed, again, a lot of desire and compete level. They’re a hard-working bunch and again that was noticeable tonight. The ‘Backs didn’t overly complicate things and three of their four goals, were the result of players crashing the crease and looking for a rebound; simple yet effective.