Post-Game #8: A Flare For the Dramatic; Win streak at 4

Game Recap Oct 10

GAME RECAP 

PENTICTON HERALD “VEEES IN 5” HIGHLIGHTS 

  •  I thought it was going to be hard to top the dramatics of last Saturday’s double-overtime win in Salmon Arm but in actual fact, it only took two games. Tyson Jost and Riley Alferd scored inside the final three minutes to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 win for the Vees over the West Kelowna Warriors. That’s now four straight wins for the Vees, with a chance to sweep the weekend Saturday.
  • It’s only eight games into the season but I’m starting to realize this Vees squad continues to claw back. They were down 3-2 in the third period last Saturday and eventually won against Salmon Arm and Friday was the same story. We’ve seen them overcome early deficits in other games as well. Never say never with these guys.
  • I kept repeating on the broadcast that the Vees needed a spark in the third period to get them going again like we saw in the first period. I just didn’t know the spark was going to be two goals in roughly two and a half minutes.Both Tyson Jost’s tying goal and Riley Alferd’s game-winning marker were scored nearly in the same spot. Both left-handed shots that found the puck between the circles and both had a quick trigger, spinning and firing wrist-shots stick side on the Warriors goalie. Jost was near the right hash mark slightly more than Alferd but it was almost like watching a replay when Alfie scored right after Jost.
  • Of the four goals the Vees had, three actually came during the act of shooting and one was banked in off a skate. But the ones the Vees shot, they all went low on the stick side of Andy Desautels. Matt Serratore picked the corner when the Vees were short-handed, as his shot went on the far-side and just inside the post. Jost’s second that tied the game after, he used to his skate to score in the first, was another low but hard shot over the far pad and past the blocker. The game-winner by Alferd was the same thing, using a low but hard shot to get it by the Warriors goalie on his stick side. Don’t think this was a coincidence.
  • Jump to Brendan Barry for a moment. The 17-year-old made just his second start of his young career and it was his first at home. To compound the nerves I’m sure he was feeling, Barry was playing an Interior Division rival, who had the BCHL leading scorer in their line-up. Barry only saw eight shots in the first but looked really sharp and aggressive and for a guy his size that’s when he’s going to be at his best. Late in the second and midway through the third, there was a stretch when he got caught playing a bit too deep in crease but give him credit, as he really buckled down after Warriors third goal. Barry would likely tell you he would have liked the second and third goals back but when it was 3-2 for West Kelowna, he didn’t allow a fourth goal, which would have been a back-breaker. He even stopped Liam Blackburn, who is the BCHL leading scorer, on a breakaway after he intercepted the puck at the Vees blue-line. Blackburn tried to deke out Barry on the glove side but the rookie stayed right with him and made a critical stop.Assistant Coach Nick Fuher even said during the post-game show that save seemed to turn things around for the Vees.
  • Don’t forget Barry’s desperation save in the first period on Jordan Masters, as he dove back across his crease to clear the puck off the goal-line on a Masters wrap around attempt. During that same sequence the Vees went back down the ice and scored their second goal of the game. It was inches from being a 1-1 game but at that point it quickly became 2-0 for the Vees. Yes, West Kelowna came back regardless but who knows how this game would have played out if the Warriors got a goal in that situation. There’s a lot of raw talent with Barry and his game will get more refined as he gets deeper into his rookie season. Bottom line he came up big when asked and at the end of the night he got the win.
  • This game had a bit of an odd feel to it at times. The first period was pretty entertaining, as it was played at a very high pace and both teams threw their weight around. The second really got bogged down, on both sides, as the two teams combined for a mere 12 shots and it was 20 minutes void of any real emotion. The third period was much better again, as it resembled more of the first and especially late, as the tempo picked up inside the final 7-8 minutes. At times you felt the rivalry and at times, especially in the second, it felt like a non divisional match up.
  • The one “negative” to take away from Friday’s win is the penalties and ones the Vees can’t be taking. The Warriors scored two of their three goals with the man-advantage and the ones they scored on were not penalties that the coaches would be happy with. On both occasions, the two infractions the Vees were called for were the result of that particular player just not being smart. The coaches told the team after the game how they felt about it and Assistant Coach Nick Fuher said post-game it has to stop. There are good penalties, ones that deny scoring chances or the result of players just being hard to play against. Then there are ones that we saw on Friday that were out of frustration and guys just not using their head. Those seem to hurt you, as more often than not, the other team will score on them. Time to clean that up.
  • Alferd, Serratore and Jack Ramsey were one of the Vees better lines, in fact, outside of Jost, Lewis Zerter-Gossage and Demico Hannoun, I would said they were the Vees best line. Five on five, they didn’t allow the top six of West Kelowna to register a single point and Alferd and Serratore (short-handed) scored critical goals. They showed a lot of hustle and in typical fashion were a pain in the butt to play against. Jonathan Desbiens scored and Jason Cotton and Liam Blackburn had assists but that all came when West Kelowna was on the man-advantage. The Masters wrap around and Blackburn’s partial breakaway were to me the only two grade ‘A’ chances that really stood out for their top six at even strength. Two quality chances but throughout the game I didn’t think they were constantly threatening and credit the Vees for protecting the middle of the ice very well.
  • Going back to Alferd again, he now has five goals in eight games. He’s just two away from his season total from last year and now has four goals in his last three games. On Wednesday in an interview, he touched on how the coaching staff is encouraging his line to take more offensive chances and not be just focused on defending the other teams top lines. Hey, if you have the puck in their end, their top players can’t score on you.
  • In the pre-game show we touched on composure and the third period as two story lines to follow. It seems when these two play, with all the history, the more composed team usually comes out on top. Now the Vees were the ones who took more penalties but they didn’t panic when they went down a goal in the third and pressured the Warriors late. They did seem to have West Kelowna a bit on their heels late when Tyson Jost and Riley Alferd scored those two late goals. It sounds so cliché but when these two play, the third period really tells the story. This season has been a snapshot of that, the Vees now have outscored their opposition 13-9 in the third period this year, whereas the Warriors have now been outscored 7-10 in the third period.
  • The Vees didn’t have their Co-Captains in Patrick Sexton and Cody DePourcq but still managed to find a way to win. Impressive. Both have a lot of valuable experience but the Vees are now 4-0 without Sexton and off to a good start without the services of DePourcq. Now, I’m not saying the Vees don’t need them, as you could see the penalty-kill was missing those two. It’s a great sign from a team to win like they did on Friday and without two key guys. But I hope we see the Captains in the line-up in the near future.
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About frodgers

Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations for the Penticton Vees
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