This comes to you from the Vees bus as we make our way to Salmon Arm this afternoon. The Vees have a quick turnaround today after a 1-0 win last night at home against Vernon. Today’s puck drop is 21 hours after last night’s face-off; ouch.
This will be the Vees third game in four days and to compound things, the last four days has featured plenty of bus travel. The old iron lung!
The Vees have made two tweaks to their line-up ahead of this afternoon’s tilt with Salmon Arm. Brendan Barry will be making his third start of the season and first in five games. The 17-year-old is 2-0-0 on the year and is coming off a 4-3 win against West Kelowna on October 10th. Liam Finlay, who sat out last night, draws back into the line-up in place of Mitch Newsome. The line-up switch is no indictment of Newsome’s play but rather a testament to the Vees depth; they got to get guys in. Finlay takes Newsome’s spot on the right-wing on the “fourth-line” with Cody DePourcq and Cam Amantea.
The Vees are looking for their 10th win in a row and their third straight against the Silverbacks. The Vees started this win streak against Salmon Arm back on October 3rd and 4th when they swept a home-and-home series.. This is the second straight game in Salmon Arm between these two, as they last played at the Shaw Centre on Saturday, October 4th. Demico Hannoun, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, scored the winner in double-overtime on a penalty-shot.
Salmon Arm had Saturday off after winning 7-4 Friday at home against Trail. That salvaged a split in their home-and-home series this week with the Smoke Eaters. Trial won at home 4-1 back on Wednesday. The win may have come at a price however for Salmon Arm, as Taylor Maruya had to leave the game Friday after he hit his head on the ice after a tussle with Trail’s Harlan Orr. It was a scary moment has Maruya lost his helmet during the bout and then fell back on his head. Hopefully he is recovering well.
Though the ‘Backs may be without Maruya they still have Andrew Farny and he’s had quite the start to his sophomore season. The defenseman is tied with the Vees Dante Fabbro in the scoring race amongst defensemen in the BCHL. Each have 14 points but Farny has the tie-breaker with six goals to Fabbro’s three. Five of Farny’s six goals have come on the power-play.
Speaking of the power-play the Vees will have to be weary of the Salmon Arm man-advantage. The ‘Backs own the third best power-play in the BCHL, which is operating a hair over 28 percent; they’ve scored five power-play goals in their last three games. Last time in Salmon Arm, the Vees made things hard on themselves with penalties and that’s how Salmon Arm ignited their comeback from two goals down.
The Vees coaching staff will be stressing five-on-five play, especially being the last game of a busy week. Tired legs can lead to tired minds and that can lead to penalty trouble. The Vees need to play smart as much as they need to play hard.
It’s been an up and down month of October for the ‘Backs as they’re 3-3-0-1 since they last played the Vees on October 4th but they’ve won two of their last three games.