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Sep 25th 3-1 Vipers (Kal-Tire Place)
Oct 25th 6-5 (OT) Vees (SOEC)
Nov 20th 5-2 Vees (SOEC)
Jan 10th 2-1 Vees (Kal-Tire Place)
Jan 24th 6-1 Vees (Kal-Tire Place)
Feb 14th 2-1 Vipers (SOEC)
Feb 22nd 4-3 Vipers (Kal-Tire Place)
Playoff Series Schedule
Game 1 4-3 Vipers (SOEC)
Game 2 March 15th (SOEC) 6pm
Game 3 March 17th (Kal-Tire Place) 7pm
Game 4 March 18th (Kal-Tire Place) 7pm
Game 5* March 20th (SOEC) 7pm
Game 6* March 21st (Kal-Tire Place) 7pm
Game 7* March 22nd (SOEC) 6pm
* If necessary
- The Vees are facing some adversity for the first time this post-season, well, the first time they’re behind in a series. They had their six-game winning streak snapped last night and now look at 1-0 series deficit. Compounding matters, they will be without Ben Dalpe, who sustained a lower-body injury in the second period Friday. There might be some good news, as Shane McColgan, who sat out game one, will be a game-time decision.
- Hunter Miska will get the start in goal, as the Vees goalie rotation continues. Miska was 2-1 against the Vipers this year, with a 1.83 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. He’s 2-0 in the playoffs and he’s coming off a 32-save effort against Merritt, in the deciding game four of their first round series. Last night, for the first time in quite some time, you could argue the Vees were out-goaltend’ed in a game. Austin Smith was sharp for the Vipers, especially in the second period, and Olivier Mantha struggled before being lifted in favour of Miska. Miska needs to have a strong showing but more importantly, needs to give his team a chance to win.
- It would be premature to throw the “must win” label on this game, but after last night’s result, a win in game two is that much more critical for the Vees. They don’t want to head to Vernon down a pair of games and to a team that’s 3-0 at home so far in the post-season. Taking a split from the first two games would put them on solid footing but a 2-0 hole puts that much more pressure on their shoulders for games three and four.
- Their success tonight will come down to wanting a win more than the Vipers; they’ll have to “out-will them.” The Vees do a lot of good things last night, things that they can build on but most importantly they can’t let off the gas at any moment. Last night was a four-minute stretch where they were sleepy and it cost them the game. Out side of that stretch they were pretty good, which goes to show if they can play to their potential throughout three periods, they’ll be in great shape.
- I know the coaches are preaching more pressure in the middle of the ice, as the Vees were a bit too perimeter at times last night. They need to play between the circles, get bodies to the Vernon net and make things difficult for Austin Smith. They had 30 shots last night but I’m thinking the coaching staff wants to see more shots from better scoring areas; quality not quantity. Rebounds, they need to get to rebounds. Smith served up a few juicy ones in the slot but the Vipers held up the Vees forwards; need to get to those secondary opportunities.
- Puck Possession. The Vees had some good stretches inside the Vipers end last night but will need to spend even more time inside their zone tonight. Vernon did a good job of disrupting the Vees cycle game down-low by being physical, but the Vees will need to utilize their speed to get away Vipers defenders and force them to chase.
- Brad McClure has a 10-game point streak coming into tonight’s game and has scored in eight straight. He was solid last night and you can’t ask much more from the Captain but the Vees will need the Likes of Nic Pierog and Erik Benoit to have big games. Both are big bodies, both have shown they can play in high-traffic areas and will need to do so again in game two. Those two can cause problems on the fore-check but also create space for their line-mates with their size. It’s a collective effort but those two have the tools to be game-breakers in a series like this.
- On the back-end, the Vees defensemen will need to be more tidy with the puck and smarter with their decision-making. Last night, they turned the puck over one too many times on plays we’ve seen them make before. This group is usually very good at mainge quick decisions with the puck and getting the puck to the forwards. Last night they had some issues getting pucks out of their end cleanly. They can’t over-think it, as they need to make a quick read on their first option, and if nothings there, move on to option two; can’t be forcing plays.
Vees Playoff Scoring
McClure 7-3-10 Stoykewych 1-3-4 Max Coatta 1-0-1
Benoit 0-8-8 Serratore 1-3-4 Jarod Hilderman 0-1-1
DePourcq 3-4-7 Alferd 2-1-3
McColgan 2-4-6 Sexton 0-3-3
Pierog 2-4-6 Amantea 1-1-2
Beauvais 1-4-5 Cooper 1-1-2
Ramsey 1-4-5 Dalpe 1-1-2
Vees Scoring vs Vernon (Regular Season + Playoffs)
DePourcq 6-3-9 McColgan 2-2-4 Stoykewych 0-2-2
McClure 4-3-7 Blanleil 1-3-4 Hilderman 1-0-1
Coatta 5-1-6 Pierog 1-3-4 Alferd 0-1-1
Beauvais 1-4-5 Blanchard 1-2-3 Ramsey 0-1-1
Dalpe 1-4-5 Cooper 0-3-3 Rygus 0-1-1
Benoit 2-2-4 Sexton 1-1-2
- Colton Sparrow took over the Vipers scoring lead with his two point effort in game one. The 20-year-old Vernon native now has three goals and 11 points, which is one point better than McClure and teammate Brendan Persley for top spot in the BCHL playoff scoring race.
- The Vipers got more depth scoring in game two, as Dylan Chanter scored his first as a Viper and first since round one last year, when he was with the Merritt Centennials. It’s only 26 game drought because he started the season in the USHL with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Two of the Vipers goal scorers, scored their first goals of the playoffs and if you go back to game six of round one, the last nine Vipers goals have come from nine different players.
- Vernon might have some injury concerns of their own, as Demico Hannoun didn’t come back for the second or third period, after blocking a Brad McClure shot in the first period. Hannoun came back initially, playing on their power-play but I don’t recall him coming out for the start of the second period. As of this afternoon, he’s penciled in his regular spot, on the second line right-wing but warm-up will give us a better idea if he’s playing or not
- The Vipers do get a boost with Dexter Dancs returning from his three-game suspension. Dancs doesn’t have any points in the playoffs but led the Vipers in scoring against the Vees this season with three goals and five points in seven games. He’s another big body upfront and one that can be a handful for the opposition’s defense.
- I expect more of the same from the Vipers tonight, well the team we saw in the second and third period anyways. They were more engaged physically in the last two periods and that’s when they started to turn things in their favour. They’re going to be physical in their own end, as they’ll try to put a shoulder into a Vees forward at every opportunity they get. They did a good job last night in using their body position to not allow the Vees to penetrate the middle of their zone. Can they keep that up in game two?
- Going back to round one, Austin Smith smith has stopped 56 of the last 59 shots he’s faced. He’s not the most technical guy out there but he just seems to find a way to get a body part on the puck more often than not. He made some great stops in the second period, when the Vees were pressing and managed to keep the Vees from tying the game at any point in the third period; a competitor in net.
Vipers Playoff Scoring
Sparrow 3-8-11 Mick 0-4-4 Wilson 0-1-1
Persley 4-6-10 Coughlin 3-0-3
Mulcahy 8-1-9 McNicholas 1-2-3
Dumonceaux 4-2-6 Blacklock 0-3-3
Renz 0-5-5 Guenther 0-3-3
Hannoun 1-3-4 Chanter 1-1-2
Bryan 0-4-4 Ken Citron 0-2-2
Vipers Scoring vs Penticton
Dancs 3-2-5 Blacklock 1-2-3 Dumonceaux 2-0-2
Mick 1-4-5 Guenther 1-2-3 Saharchuk 0-2-2
Hannoun 0-5-5 Sparrow 1-2-3 Statchuk 0-1-1
Persley 2-2-4 Renz 1-2-3 Citron 0-1-1
McNicholas 2-2-4 Wilson 1-2-3
Bryan 1-3-4 Coughlin 1-2-3