Vees on the Other Side of a Comeback


  • Saturday’ started a lot like Friday, as the West Kelowna Warriors grabbed the lead courtesy of Jonathan Desbiens (his name will pop up a few times in this post). The goal was a result of the Vees not boxing-out Desbiens down by the net, as he jumped all over a rebound off a shot from the blue-line. Simple mistake this time of year, as the coaches are still teaching positional stuff and the first goal showed there is still more work to be done. Hey, that’s why there’s training camp and pre-season games.
  • That goal actually seemed to focus the Vees, as they turned up the pressure in the Warriors end and eventually tied it up five-minutes later. The tying goal came after some nice work by the line of Liam Finlay, Mitch Newsome and Neil Robinson. Finlay and Robinson broke into the zone on a odd-man rush but the play never materialized. However, Finlay alertly got the puck back and quickly fired it up to the blue-line. The biscuit found its way to Gabe Bast, who on a savvy play, intentionally fired a low slap-shot allowing Newsome to redirect it past Scott Patton.
  • Bast and Connor Russell were on the ice for the first goal against but they rebounded nicely after that, as from there on out they were arguably the Vees steadiest defensive pairing. Both looked pretty good in their own end throughout the game and I didn’t notice them and I mean that in a good way; steady.
  • Lewis Zerter-Gossage continues to impress. He grabbed the lead for the Vees late in the first when he and Jack Ramsey teamed up for another goal. Saturday it was Zerter-Gossage turning goal-scorer and Ramsey turning play-maker. They connected for a goal Friday too. Nice vision by Ramsey to thread the needle and find Zerter-Gossage up the middle and behind the defense. Zerter-Gossage let got a well placed wrist-shot just inside the post on the far blocker-side of the Warriors Scott Patton.
  • After an early goal against, credit to the Vees for turning it on in the first and coming out of the period with a 2-1 lead on the road.
  • Things opened up in the second period as both teams started to trade chances. The game really had a good flow in the middle period, as the two team were going back and forth from one end to the other. Liam Finlay padded the Vees lead early in the middle frame and he showed some good hockey IQ on the play. Finlay used the defender as a screen and from the slot, fired a low shot off the base of the post and past Scott Patton on the blocker side.
  • It looked good for the Vees, up 3-1 early in the second and creating plenty of opportunities. But that’s the main point I take away from the loss, was the inability of the Vees to finish off the Warriors. They had their chances, there was plenty of them in the second but they just couldn’t get that one extra goal to put the game  out of reach. Credit the Warriors for not allowing the Vees to get a three-goal lead, as Scott Patton and their defense found a way to keep them within striking distance.
  • One significant momentum shift in the game was the quick response by the Warriors after the Vees third goal. Took them all of 32 seconds to make it a one-goal game again. How much different would the game have looked, if the Vees could have nursed that 3-1 lead longer? Anyways, Brett Mennear went cross-bar and down over Barry’s shoulder after a nice setup by Neil Aird. West Kelowna quickly snuffed out any momentum the Vees would have had and it seemed to turn the tide in their favour.
  • Another key moment in the second was a big breakaway save by Scott Patton on Cody DePourcq. With the Vees up 3-2, DePourcq was sent in on a breakaway from the blue-line but Patton denied the Vees forward with a nice right-pad save. Now, if that had gone in, we would be looking at a 4-2 Vees lead late in the second. Big save by their goaltender to keep his team close and that save proved to be key.
  • Before the clock ran out on the second, Jonathan Desbiens struck again, as he turned on the jets and broke down the right-wing with serious speed. He caught the Vees defender flat-footed and put his shot upstairs on the short-side over Barry’s glove with just 12 seconds remaining in the second. A bit of a deflating moment for the Vees, as they were 12 seconds away from taking a 3-2 lead into the second intermission. Just going back to that DePourcq breakaway, we’re talking inches away from a two goal swing. 3-3 instead of 4-2.
  • The third period followed a similar script to the second, as again it had a good pace to it and both teams skated up and down the ice. Just like in the second, the Vees had plenty of chances to reclaim the lead, as they were constantly around the Warriors net. Numerous times in the third saw the Vees would break in off the rush, get a good shot off, create a promising rebound but not able to capitalize. They were around the net a lot, pucks bouncing and dancing in the crease on near misses or failed tap-ins but they just couldn’t get it to settle and go in. A large reason for the frustration in the scoring areas was the fact the Warriors collapsed all five players between the dots in their own zone. Time and again, they threw everyone in front of the puck, as there was always a wall of defenders between the puck and the goal.
  • West Kelowna broke the deadlock late in game and it involved some puck luck. Kyle Marino let go a point-shot that was inadvertently tipped a Vees defenseman and up and over Barry’s blocker with just over four-minutes left in the third. Tough break. 70 seconds later, Desbiens completed the hat-trick after he chipped the puck past the last Vees defender at the West Kelowna blue-line. Once on the breakaway he quickly snapped it over Barry’s blocker who showed poke-check. It took just 70 seconds to go from possible overtime to a two-goal Warriors win.



About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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