Interior Final GM 2: Vees Ride a Roller Coaster of Emotions in Win

Game Recap 

Boxscore 

Penticton Herald “Vees in 5” Highlights 

  • It was a roller coaster ride of emotions for the Vees and their fans on Saturday. Early it was Frustration , which turned into anger but in the second it turned to relief, then eventually euphoria. It was a game of highs and low for the Vees and their fans but I’ll say this, this team never once called it quits Saturday and we saw just why.
  • The tables were turned on Saturday, as it was the Vees mounting a second period rally, which led to a come from behind win. Friday it was the opposite, the Vipers rallying in the second en route to a 4-3 win. Both teams have now experienced both sides and were just two games in.
  • Odd start as notable sniper Dylan Chanter scored again for Vernon, as his point-shot deflected off Hunter Miska’s arm and heel of his skate, before trickling in. Chanter, goalless in his first 26 games as a Viper heading into this series, now has goals in back-to-back games. Tough break for Miska, as he was trying to do the chicken wing with his arm and pinned the puck, but felt it slipping, so he spun to make sure it didn’t trickle past him but as he did, his heel directs the puck in the net.
  • Good response after that goal by the Vees,  as they didn’t allow the bad bounce to get them off track. a minute and fifty-three seconds after that goal, its Steen Cooper following up a Brad McClure rebound to tie the game at one’s.
  • Then things got interesting late in the first, as the Vees ran into some penalty trouble. Cooper and Patrick Sexton took two penalties close together and the Vipers had a five-on-three. During that two-man advantage, Hunter Miska had a Viper crash in his crease, which knocked him down and dislodged his goalie stick. If anything, the play right there should have been blow down for incidental contact, with the face-off coming outside the zone. No whistle, the play continues and as it does, Brett Mulcahy pushes Miska’s goalie stick further away from the Vees net, and so did Michael McNicholas at one point, which if I’m not mistaken, is an interference  penalty. However there is this: “When moving a stick that is not broken, no penalty shall be assessed as long as it does not interfere with the play and the player who lost said stick is not attempting to retrieve it.” But my interpretation is Miska can’t go out and grab it because it was moved that much by the Viper player. Regardless, there was no penalty which upset the Vees coaching staff and fans, and to compound matters, Colton Sparrow eventually scores on that five-on-three.
  • If anything thing, that sequence helped the Vees, in the sense it was a galvanizing moment; a rally cry for the team.
  • That non-call angered the Vees, because there was some controversy as well prior to the game starting. As warm-up concluded, two Vipers were late coming off the ice, which is an automatic two-minute minor penalty. It was one player and I believe their goalie Austin Smith, who were caught still on the ice. However, the referees didn’t call the delay of game penalty. They phoned the BCHL office about the incident and the league office told the referees not to assess a penalty. Very interesting. So with that not being called at the start of the game and the controversy late in the first period, you can see why the Vees were a bit hot under the collar.
  • Enough about the officiating as there was a game that was played between two great rivals.
  • After the Vees went down 3-1 on another Vipers power-play goal midway through the second, you never got the feeling they were out of the game. It was a similar story to game one, they had a decisive edge in shots and I would argue an edge in scoring chances, but midway through the game they’re down 3-1. However, they didn’t fold up and credit them for the unwavering belief that they were going to come back; showed a lot of character.
  • Brad McClure got the comeback started late in the second, when he made another nice pass, this time finding a streaking Steen Cooper for a redirect out front. McClure can shoot, we all know that, but that’s three nice plays he’s made in these playoffs, where he’s along the boards and saucers a perfect tape-to-tape pass, to a player driving down the middle of the ice. In game three of round one, he sets up Paul Stoykewych on a similar play, and in game four he sets up Brett Beauvais on the same play for the game-winner. Three great plays where McClure threads the needle.
  • Speaking of great passes, what a play by Patrick Sexton to find McClure in the neutral zone on a rink-wide pass, that sprung the Captain on a breakaway. Sexton, on his own  left-wing inside his zone, turned and fired a pass right on the money to McClure at his  bench on the right-side of centre. McClure then broke behind the Vernon defense and put a shot upstairs on Austin Smith to tie the game. I know the coaching staff wasn’t happy Friday about the defense’s inability to get the puck to the forwards consistently. Well Saturday they did a much better job of that and the 3-3 goal was a perfect example.
  • McClure has now extended his point streak to 11 games, where he has 12 goals and 21 points; he’s now scored in nine straight games. Let that marinate for a moment or two.
  • Momentum is everything in the playoffs and the Vees rode it right into the third period, as they scored twice more, for four unanswered goals. A big key to their success Saturday, was their ability to hold onto pucks in the offensive end and establish the cycle game. They spent a lot time of time below the face-off circles and behind the net, working the puck around, constantly changing direction and that forced the Vipers defense to chase and start to tire. This was evident in the third period, where they were good on their details; doing the little things well. Just look at their fourth goal, as Jack Ramsey beats two Vipers to a dump-in on the right wall, before centering for Riley Alferd, who squeezes a shot through Smith. Not only was a simple puck retrieval play but look where Alferd scored. The coaches were preaching to get to the middle of the ice more ahead of game two, and Alferd eludes one check, slides to the middle and got that shot off.
  • More net crashing led to the Vees fifth goal, which didn’t come without controversy. Cam Amantea tried to stuff a wrap-around past Smith on the blocker-side but was stopped at the post. The puck was hung up underneath Smith, somewhere in or around his pads but the referee, who was right behind the net, never blew the play dead. Amantea and Blanleil dive at it, jamming at the puck and Max Coatta was whacking away as well. Great determination by that line, as Coatta got credit for the goal, as he was last one to touch it. Hey, they were just playing to the whistle, as the referee stood there and never blew it down and the Vees took full advantage of that.
  • I totally get why the Vipers were so upset about the goal and why they took a bench minor penalty for arguing, which eventually led to their Assistant Coach being kicked-out as well. From their angle their goalie has the puck underneath his pads and the play looks to be over. But the Vees whack away and push the puck from underneath Smith’s legs and in. It’s a legit beef. Hey, if this happened to the Vees they would be steamed too. I’ll give the referee this, he was right there, behind the net, almost standing on top of it, and he had the best angle out of everyone at the SOEC and he deemed the puck was never frozen. Tough break for the Vipers and a lucky break for the Vees, who don’t get much of those at home when it comes to controversial goals.
  • Four of the Vees five goals came from guys working their way to the net and the top of the crease. That’s what the coaching staff wanted and that’s why they were so successful. They got in the Vipers kitchen so to speak and got to more dangerous shooting areas.
  • The Vipers lost their cool somewhat after that fifth goal, as their emotions started to boil over and it looked like they were more focused on running the Vees through the boards then trying to get back into the game; for a few minutes towards the end anyways. Vernon did pull their goalie but nothing really came of that, as they were clearly frustrated and were content in throwing their weight around.
  • There was a lot of strong individual performances tonight, Brad McClure, Steen Cooper, Paul Stoykewych, the Cam Amantea, Travis Blanleil and Max Coatta line, and the Riley Alferd, Jack Ramsey and Matt Serratore line too. But I need to single out Shane McColgan who had a great game coming back from missing game one. McColgan was shot out of a cannon it seemed like, as he showed some flashes of break-neck speed with rushes and blew up a handful of Vipers with some great hits. He pasted Matty Saharchuk along the boards, he also got a big shoulder into Brett Mulcahy at the Vipers bench and blew up Jared Wilson in the Vipers corner on the fore-check. McColgan’s commitment to defense stood out as well, as he made some great defensive plays on more than one occasion; it was all about hustle. He cares, he really does and he showed it tonight.
  • The game wasn’t without its casualties, as both teams lost players over the course of game two. The Vees lost Cam Amantea late in the third period when he went awkwardly into the boards on the fore-check. Not sure what the prognosis is on him, but if he’s unavailable for games three and four, that’s two-thirds of a good energy line missing; Ben Dalpe is out of action too. Mason Blacklock also went down awkwardly with a Vees player after they got tangled up in the Vees zone. He didn’t play for the latter half of the third and was skating very gingerly off the ice at the end of the game. Remember, the Vipers were already missing Demico Hannoun, as a recurring injury flared up on him prior to game two.
  • There is definitely some emotion in this series now, as game two featured a lot of bad blood and emotions running high. Games three and four will be fun.
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About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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