Post-Game #53: Goals Drying Up; Frustration Grows

Game Story 

Boxscore 

Penticton Herald “Vees in 5” Highlights  

  • Eerily similar story from Friday played out on Saturday. Vees get a whacky goal early to grab the lead but can’t build on it and allow their opponent to get back into the game, and eventually pull away. Friday it was Patrick Sexton scoring 17 seconds into the game, after his point-shot was punched in by a Vernon defender. Saturday, Riley Alferd scores four-minutes in after he was the recipient of another hometown bounce.
  • Really odd play, as Travis Blanleil’s innocent dump-in from the neutral zone, proved to be much more. Nic Renyard went to go play the puck behind his net, only to have it bounce off the end boards, through his legs and right to Alferd out front. Got to feel for Renyard, who thought he was going to make a routine play. Hey, Renyard did play here last year and practiced a lot at the SOEC; must have forgotten about those boards.
  • The Vees get a gift but couldn’t tack on any other goals. That is frustrating. I started to think that they were going to finally get the offense going, just by looking how they scored their first. I thought this is the bounce they needed. But the flood gates never did burst.
  • The Vees inability to build on that opening goal stung them later in the first, when Myles Fitzgerald buried on the power-play. That goal stung because, one, it was an equalizer and two, it was on a bench minor for too many man on the ice; a power-play that wasn’t earned. The Vees just finished killing-off a Victoria power-play, only to have to go back right to the PK.
  • The Fitzgeralds were reunited in late January and appear to be back in mid-season form. Leo was sidelined from September 15th to January 26th, but since his return, he’s got four goals and seven points in four games. There’s no better trio right now in the BCHL than the Fitzgeralds. Myles Fitzgerald finished with two goals and three points and now has a four-point cushion on Brad McClure for second in the BCHL scoring race. Not to be outdone, Gerry Fitzgerald picked up an assist tonight and extended his point streak to a staggering 18 games (15-17-32).
  • Staying with Myles, he scored twice, including the game-winner, but probably should have been tossed in the first period. He got his knee out on Travis Blanleil in the first period, on a knee-on-knee hit. Blanleil  hit the deck immediately, scraped himself off the ice and didn’t finish the game. I’m not saying it was intentional by Myles, as I’m in the booth and not on the ice and have no idea what was going through his head on that play. But, it was clearly a knee and at least a minor, if not a major and a game misconduct. What frustrates me it was right in front of the referee, who was standing in the same corner the knee took place. Compounding matters it was a veteran official and there was TWO of them on the ice, but no penalty was called. Before you internet trolls crawl up my backside, I’m not saying the hit was intentional, Myles Fitzgerald doesn’t seem like that type, but it was a knee, it wasn’t hard to see and it knocked out a veteran player. Yet TWO officials didn’t deem it as a penalty. That doesn’t sit well with me.
  • Though a controversial play, that wasn’t the reason why the Vees lost tonight. They beat themselves. They can’t finish right now. They just can’t. As I said on the broadcast, “If they would fall out of a boat right now, they wouldn’t get wet.” It’s true. Just like last night, the Vees created a lot, were in and around the Victoria net all night but couldn’t get the puck into the back of the net. They got into scoring positions, went hard to the net but the most important element, the finish, was absent again.
  • The last guy I thought who would have an issue around the net, would have been Brad McClure. But tonight, the Vees Captain had three, maybe four quality looks at the net but he couldn’t cash-in. In the second he deked-out Nic Renyard on the doorstep but put a back-hand attempt wide of the post. He was also sprung on a breakaway in the third but his former teammate, Renyard, flashed the glove. When was the last time you saw McClure not score at least once with all the chances he had? Never would be a good answer. McClure is as competitive as they come, a guy who is all about team success rather than his own. He is his own worst critic and you know he will be beating himself up after tonight. Even the top players have an off-night, and tonight was probably the first time I’ve seen him go through what he did. At least he’s getting these chances and he’s due to breakout very soon.
  • Clearly this is a mental thing now, as the players looked like they were thinking too much out there. Meaning they were over thinking the simple details when it comes to their offense. It’s only human nature to think about scoring issues, when you go through a stretch like the Vees are experiencing.
  • Both goalies were excellent tonight, especially Renyard who was battling in his net all night. You know he wanted to get a win against the Vees and doing that at the SOEC must have been that much sweeter.
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About frodgers

Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations for the Penticton Vees
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