Post-Game #51: Vees Take Two Points from the Eagles Nest

Game Recap 

Boxscore 

  • The Vees finished-off their busy week in style, picking up a 3-0 win in Surrey. Hunter Miska made 29 saves for his second career shutout and first since September 14th. The Vees got power-play goals from Nic Pierog, Jack Ramsey and Brad McClure. The Vees finished 3-4 on the power-play, as they scored on their first three man-advantages. The penalty-kill was just as good, shutting out the Eagles on six tries, as the Vees finished 6-6 on the PK.
  • For the second straight night the Vees were dinged with another four-minute penalty. This time Max Coatta was ordered to sit for four minutes after he clipped Jonah Renouf with his stick. But for the second straight night the PK units were up to the task, as they did not give up much in the way of chances for the Eagles. Like last night, the Vees seemed to be galvanized by the big penalty-kill, as it eventually steered them into the right direction.
  • Not an ideal start for the Vees, as they looked flat in the first ten minutes and were out shot 10-1 going into the one-minute media timeout and after that, the shots read 12-2 at one point for the Eagles. Surrey, as expected, came out with a good push off the get-go and that’s no surprise, considering they had Friday off and this was their first game in a week. So, the Vees had their struggles in their own zone early, but Hunter Miska was up to the task.
  • Miska was phenomenal at times tonight and was head and shoulders the Vees best player. He was great early, especially when the Vees had their said problems and the Eagles were pressuring trying to get on the scoresheet first. Miska was stopping everything he saw early, and you started to get the feeling he was “in the zone.” His best save in the first and arguably of the game, came off of Joseph Drapluk. Drapluk appeared to have an open net to shoot at on the glove-side. Appeared, because Miska, as he was lunging over to his left, fell onto his back and with his Blocker hand, reached back and pinned the puck on his shoulder. Something that you would have seen from Dominik Hasek in the late 90’s with the Buffalo Sabres. Robbery. He followed that up with another great stop in the second off of Nathan Renouf. Jonah spotted Nathan out front from behind the net and Nathan’s one-timer from the top of the crease was snatched out of the air by Miska’s glove. A great looking glove save. Not all his saves were the spectacular variety and that’s because his positioning and rebound control was so good. He was seeing everything, tracking pucks very well and kicking rebounds, if there was any, away from danger. Great show put on from #35. Miska bought some time for the Vees to get their footing and was the reason why they were able to win this game. If it wasn’t for his goaltending, we are likely talking about a Surrey win.
  • I talked about the special teams off the top but it was the second biggest reason why the Vees were winners tonight. I mentioned how key that four-minute penalty-kill was but it’s worth mentioning again. Just think about it, the Vees are on the road, playing their second game in as many nights and playing an Eagles team that had won its previous three, and they get saddled for a four-minute penalty. The PK stepped up and set the tone in the special teams department and the Vees then turned the tables, as they go their power-play going.
  • Funny thing about the power-play, is that all three goals weren’t scored off the traditional power-play setup, rather all three were scored off the rush. Nic Pierog marked his return to Surrey by opening the scoring late in the first from the right-circle. Pierog turned on the jets, moved into the circle and fired a wrist-shot post and in on the far-side of Devon Fordyce. Nice shot by Pierog who scores against his former team and in front of family and friends; his parents made the trip out from Ontario this week. Pierog got a monkey off his back tonight, as he has been playing well of late but the goals just weren’t coming; hopefully this leads to bigger and better things.
  • Jack Ramsey’s power-play marker doubled the Vees lead late in the first period and was a massive body blow to Surrey. Colton Mackie takes an undisciplined penalty, plus a ten minute misconduct inside the final minute of the first. The Vees took advantage, as Travis Blanleil, from the left-wing corner, threw the puck out front to a streaking Ramsey, who jammed it through Fordyce with just 23 seconds left in the first. Standing 10 count for Surrey.
  • Brad McClure continued the hot streak with the PP, as he scored on his second opportunity of a shift five minutes into the second. At the start of the Vees third power-play, McClure was robbed on the doorstep, as Fordyce kicked-out a sure goal with a pad save on a one-timer from the hash marks. But McClure stuck with it, picked up the puck on the wall, cut through the middle of the zone to the right-circle, and snapped a wrist-shot underneath the arm of Fordyce who was contending with traffic. Great poise and patient shown by McClure on that goal, as he paused just long enough to get Fordyce to bite and used the traffic to his advantage.
  • Steen Cooper’s strong play will get overlooked on the scoresheet but Cooper was instrumental on the Vees first two power-play goals. The first, he made a nice head-man pass to Pierog to send him in on the right-wing, before he scored from the circle. Then he took a hit at his own blue-line to make the breakout pass to Travis Blanleil that led to the Ramsey goal. Cooper had a great week of hockey, as he was very good last night and on Wednesday against Trail. His work ethic is noticeable, as he is relentless on the fore-check and is a true competitor.
  • It was a rocky road early defensively for the Vees but give them credit, they hunkered down and they were much better in the final forty minutes. Just look at the stats, as they allowed 14 shots in the first period alone but only 15 in the final two periods; just five shots in the third. Guys like Chris Rygus and Patrick Sexton ate up big minutes this week, ate up HARD minutes and were horses again tonight. Fair to say everything hurts for those two. Sunday is a well-earned day of rest for a guy like Sexton.
  • How good were the Vees defensively? Well, the Eagles had scored three or more goals in last 10 games heading into tonight. AND the Renouf twins and Braeden Russell had combined for 11 goals and 32 points in their last 5  games. Both of those stat lines have a big fat zero beside them after tonight.
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About frodgers

Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations for the Penticton Vees
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