Another Showcase, Another Sweep

  • Mission accomplished. The Vees set out to collect four points this weekend at the BCHL Showcase and have done just that-and for the third straight year. They’re 2-0 on the young season and 6-0 all-time in the three-year-old event.
  • One year and 12 days ago they were in the exact same scenario. They were facing the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on a Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after winning on a Friday night. Just like last year the Vees pulled out a one-goal victory. 3-2 last year, 4-3 this year.
  • By watching their first 40 minutes of the game, you wouldn’t suspect the Vees were playing in a back-to-back scenario and against a team who had yet to play all together. The Vees looked sharp early and had their feet under them. Well, both teams did in fact, as the Bulldogs matched the Vees pace early and it was a track meet at times.
  • For the second straight night the first Vees goal came from a rookie, as Tyson Jost potted a rebound off the pad of Billy Christopoulos. Heads up play by Mike Lee to intentionally throw a low shot on goal to create the rebound. Jost was play-maker on Friday but turned goal-scorer on Saturday.
  • The Vees had a golden opportunity to open the game up late in the first when they were handed a two-man advantage for 48 seconds. They had some great looks, including Lewis Zerter-Gossage ringing a shot off the crossbar; red light came on and everything. The offense came just as both the five-on-three and five-on-four power-plays expired. Riley Alferd reached behind himself for the puck and quickly spun and snapped a shot past a surprised Christopoulos. Not a five-on-three nor a five-on-four goal but it gave them a two-goal lead near the end of the first. They’ll take it.
  • Last night I touched on the importance of the likes of Jack Ramsey, Matt Serratore and Riley Alferd contributing more this year and after two games, all three have at least a goal.
  • Great moment for Alferd when he scored as both his Mom and Dad were in attendance, as they made the commute up from Vancouver, Washington.
  • Jost took over the second period, scoring his second and third career goals and prompting one fan to toss his hat on the ice. His second goal of the game showcased some nice finish off an odd-man-rush. Liam Finlay picked out Jost as the trailing forward and he stepped into a one-time at the top of the circles. Great poise by Finlay to spot Jost creeping in untouched and hitting him with a clean pass. Not easy to do.
  • Jost was doing Jost things late in the second when he did all the work to nab the hat-trick. After a nice push pass by Mitch Newsome at centre, Jost kicked it into fifth gear and darted down the middle of the Bulldogs zone. Jost side-stepped one defenseman before putting a laser over Christopoulos’ glove at 18:03. An eye-popping goal and even more impressive was that fact he was doing all of this at full speed.
  • The Vees looked to be in cruise control until a late penalty call in the final moments of the second period got them side-tracked. Jarod Hilderman was dinged for closing his hand on the puck and with him in the box, the Bulldogs found the scoresheet. In the fleeting moments of the period, Darian Henry used heavy traffic to provide the screen and his wrist-shot found its way through and JUST before the clock struck zero. The referees consulted but the goal stood and it gave the Bulldogs life.
  • Tough break for the Vees as they had everything going their way up until that penalty and subsequent goal.
  • The comeback was stoked early in the third, as the ‘Dogs capitalized on a quick counter-attack from center ice. The puck was turned over and Josh Adkins found Scott Clark in the slot and he went high on Hunter Miska. Now just a two-goal came. You could sense the ‘Dogs started believing they could come back from a four-goal deficit.
  • Things then got REALLY interesting when the Vees surrendered a short-handed marker three-minutes later. A miscue at the offensive blue-line led to Dylan Haugen being sprung on a breakaway. He wrestled his shot just over Hunter Miska’s glove and across the goal-line. Now a one-goal game.
  • The Vees however didn’t wilt and found a way to steer home a one-goal victory. Mainly because how well they played in front of their own net. They blocked a tone of shots, including three big blocked shots inside the final minute when the Bulldogs had the extra-skater out. Jack Ramsey had two of those three and was still feeling the effects on the bus ride home; he’ll need a few Tylenol tonight. Soreness he is happy to have.
  • The Vees ability to not only step in front of shots Saturday but seal off the middle of the ice in front of their net, was a major reason why they held on to the two points. They boxed out extremely well and rarely did the Bulldogs get a second chance.
  • A 2-0 weekend, first place in the division for now and much needed rest before next weekend’s two-game road swing in Trail and Merritt.

About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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