Radio: EZ Rock AM 800
Watch: Fasthockey Pay-Per-View
Season Series:October 4th 5-2 SA, October 26th 4-2 SA, January 18th 3-2 (OT) SA, January 31st 2-1 SA, February 1st 4-1 SA, February 7th @ PEN, February 28th @ SA, March 1st @ PEN.
- First things first, it’s the 4th Annual Valley First Feed the Valley Night, as the Vees and Valley First Credit Union are raising food for the Salvation Army Food Bank. Please, PLEASE, bring a non-perishable food item to tonight’s game. For an added incentive, though you shouldn’t need one, Adults + Seniors can get $10 tickets if they bring a non-perishable food item; that’s a savings of $3 per ticket. More info HERE.
- To the game itself, and will the sixth time be the lucky charm? The Vees will be looking for their first win in six tries against the Silverbacks this season. They’ve lost the previous five meetings, four in regulation, including being swept in a home-and-home last weekend. The Vees are pretty pumped up about tonight, I’m sure both sides are pretty jacked about this one. This season series has taken on a different feel, some would call it a “playoff like atmosphere.”
- How to do the Vees go about beating Salmon Arm? Well they need to beat them at their own game and that’s by out working them. Salmon Arm hasn’t pulled any tricks on the Vees this year, they’ve simply just been a team that has outworked the Vees consistently over the course of the season series. The Vees have had good stretches against SA this season but that’s just it, “good stretches.” Need a complete effort tonight. Salmon Arm has looked like the hungrier team in the last two match ups and the Vees have to buck that trend tonight.
- Big key for the Vees in swinging this series back their way? Mental toughness. Fred Harbinson Wednesday spoke about how they looked too fragile against the ‘Backs last weekend, in the sense they didn’t handle adversity well. Through a the course of the game, every teams will experience obstacles, the Vees have to be better at handling said challenges. Salmon Arm isn’t Trail, they’re going to push the Vees, test their mental toughness, and its up to them on how they respond.
- The Vees can’t keep playing from behind either, as it seems they are always playing catch up against Salmon Arm. With the exception of two first periods, the Vees have either trailed or been tied with Salmon Arm for the majority of this season series; rarely ahead. I do know this, the Vees haven’t led going into the third period in any of the five games against the ‘Backs this season. The Vees are 23-0-1-2 when leading after two periods this season. 7-13-1-2 when tied or trailing going into the third.
- If the Vees are going to find a way to play with the lead, they’ll need to be much more consistent, especially in the second period. 9-0. Through five games, they’ve been outscored 9-0 by the ‘Backs in the second period. They’ve outscored SA 5-4 in first periods but have been outscored a combined 13-3 and out shot 92-85 in the final two periods. Starts against Salmon Arm hasn’t been the issues, their finish has.
- The Vees are a +12 in shots in the first period, +7 in the third period but a -14 in the second period against Salmon Arm. Consistency is everything tonight.
- Some might be concerned with the Vees record of late but remember, they lost five of their final six games heading into last spring’s playoffs and were 13-8-0-2 post-Christmas last year but still went on to the Fred Page Cup Final. They’re 6-4-1-1 this season since the Christmas break. It’s all about getting hot at the right time.
- Speaking of hot, Jack Ramsey and Cody DePourcq, who recently have been paired together, have elevated their play. Both have points in four of their last five games, DePourcq with 3 goals and five points, Ramsey a goal and four points.
- A story line to watch when the Vees and Silverbacks meet is the BCHL’s top two scorers going head-to-head, in Brad McClure and Landon Smith. After his big night Wednesday, McClure has narrowed the gap to three points between he and Smith.
- Olivier Mantha gets the call tonight, he’s 0-2 against Salmon Arm but 15-7-0 on the year with 2.18 goals-against average, while maintaining a .914 save percentage; he’s also 7-3 against the Interior.
Scoring vs. SA:
DePourcq 3-0-3 Amantea 1-0-1 Serratore 0-1-1
Alferd 1-1-2 Benoit 1-0-1
Blanleil 0-2-2 Blanchard 1-0-1
McColgan 0-2-2 Beauvais 0-1-1
Ramsey 0-2-2 Coatta 0-1-1
Rygus 0-2-2 Coulombe 0-1-1
- Salmon Arm had their five-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday, when they dropped a 5-2 decision at home to the West Kelowna Warriors. The ‘Backs are 5-0 against the Vees this season but after Tuesday’s loss, finish with a 1-6 record against West Kelowna.
- Divisional points will be a key factor in deciding which four teams make the playoffs. The ‘Backs are a impressive 18-9-1-2 against the Interior.
- Did the ‘Backs rash of injuries finally catch up them on Tuesday? Maybe. They were very good against the Vees, despite four regulars out of the line-up. They may have run out of gas Tuesday but don’t think for a second that will be an issue tonight. Everyone gets up to play the Vees.
- Evan Anderson, Alex Gillies, Colton Thibault and Adam Clark missed Tuesday’s game. Do we say any of the four tonight? I will get a better idea this afternoon when I get a peek at their line-up. Stay tuned. The Vees won’t be paying much attention to who’s in and who’s out for Salmon Arm, as they learned first hand this team will still play them tough, no matter who’s wearing a ‘Backs jersey.
- When Landon Smith scores, the ‘Backs are 19-7-1-3. When he doesn’t, their 6-11-1-2. He has average a goal per-game against the Vees this season, and leads the ‘Backs in scoring against Penticton (5-1-6). The Vees will need to find a way to keep him quiet.
- Backs Post-Christmas Record: 6-6-0-0 (11-9-1-1 after Christmas last season)
Scoring vs. PEN:
Smith 5-1-6 Box 1-2-3 B. Kennedy 0-2-2 Thibault 0-1-1
Ferguson 0-4-4 Josephs 0-3-3 McCaskill 0-2-2
Anderson 2-1-3 Plese 2-0-2 Roberts 0-2-2
Gillies 2-1-3 Berezan 1-1-2 J. Kennedy 1-0-1
Marsh 2-1-3 Fagerheim 1-1-2 Brown-Maloski 0-1-1
Becker 1-2-3 Farny 0-2-2 Jewell 0-1-1
Josephs: 4 game point streak (1-3-4)
Thibault: No points in 6 games
Brown-Maloski: No points in 4 games
Farny: No points in 4 games
Last 5 Games:
Record: 4-1-0-0 (16 GF, 13 GA)
PP: 1/16 (6.25%)
PK: 13/15 (86.67%)
PP: No PPG’s in 2 games (0/11)
Goals: Smith (40) (1st in BCHL)
Assists: Smith (33) (T-8th in BCHL)
Points: Smith (73) (1st in BCHL)
PIMs: Box (86) (T-6th in BCHL)
PPG: Smith (11) (T-2rd in BCHL)
PPA: Ferguson (12) (T-9th in BCHL)
SHG: Anderson/Gillies/Jewell/J. Kennedy/Maruya/Smith (1) (T-14th in BCHL)