- The Vees were tested Saturday by a much stronger opponent but they still found a way to keep their streak alive. It was a bit sloppy at first (CLICHE ALERT!) but the Vees got better as the game wore on. Heavy legs early? I would say so. The Vees looked sluggish in their own zone in the first and parts of the second but buckled down when it counted. Hey, in the third they only allowed five shots. Showed up when it mattered.
- Call me crazy but maybe the early goal against was just what the Vees needed. I thought the Vees were sleeping walking in their own zone in the first, not their usually self and Scott Davidson took advantage, when he buried his own rebound from the slot. The struggles stemmed from Trail’s fore-check created some issues for the Vees getting a clean breakout. However, credit the Vees for adjusting as the game moved into the second period. That’s when their transition game really got going.
- I quipped that the Vees were getting a “life line” when they went to their first power-play just midway through the first. On their first crack with the man-advantage the Vees kept things simple and reaped the benefits. Gabe Bast has an underrated shot, not much of a wide-up but it is heavy. He got the puck back at the blue-line and let go a hard shot that went off Cody DePourcq’s leg and in. Just a very simple approach of getting traffic in front and getting the puck through from the point.
- Even though the first wasn’t the sharpest from the Vees, they could have had a 3-1 lead going into the break. Lewis Zerter-Gossage showed unbelievable hand-eye coordination. Bast launched a pass, waist-high, from blue-line to blue-line, which was knocked down by Zerter-Gossage and then he went in on the partial breakaway. Adam Todd did rob LZG with a great glove save but it was quite a play from the Vees lanky forward. Man, to knock the puck down to the ice without breaking stride then almost scoring. Oh boy.
- Riley Alferd could have had one more than his two he bagged Saturday. After the LZG attempt, he screamed off the bench, found the puck on the left-wing, broke to the net but Todd just squeezed his shot against his body. The Vees started to show positive signs late in the first period.
- Speed kills and the Vees had their speed on display in the second. All three of their goals came off the rush and it was their speed that created separation. Pat Newell didn’t score off the rush per say but he attacked the net from the right side and the puck eventually went in after Trail’s Jake Lucchini inadvertently poked it in. Not how they drew it up but they all count. Cody DePourcq’s second was after some great fore-check pressure from Mitch Newsome. Newsome sealed off the wall, knocked down the outlet pass and DePourcq did the rest. Then Demico Hannoun’s goal was a perfect showcase of the Vees transition game. Hannoun dug the puck out of a crowd on the right-wing of the Vees zone. He found an extra gear as he cut across at centre, then it was a quick give-and-go with Newell, before he put a wicked backhand up high over Todd on the near-side. Like, he had a key-hole size spot to get that puck through and he did.
- When you’re hot, you’re hot and Alferd showed that in the third. On his first of two in the period, he just went to the net and he muscled Matt Serratore’s rebound past Todd. Then he went to the net again and the puck caromed off his leg and in for a late power-play marker. Alferd is a magnet for the puck right now and it seems everything he touches goes in. His goal-streak is at four games and over that span he has six goals. Alferd has to be in heavy consideration for the BCHL Player of the Week award.
- Speaking of accolades, before Saturday’s game, Hunter Miska was named the BCHL Player of the Month for October. He was 9-0, with a 1.08 goals-against average, a .959 save-percentage AND had three shutouts. It was odd, seeing Trail actually score on him and again in the second. His play of late makes you hold him to a higher standard. “Oh, he let in two? Must be an off night.” But he was very good early when the Vees were on their heals and again in the second. Remember, after Connor Russell blew a tire at his own blue-line, Miska made a cltuch save on a Charlie Zuccarini breakaway. Miska got his pad on the shot and then the Vees turned it up ice for the Hannoun marker. IF, if Zuccarini scored it’s 3-2 with plenty of time left in the second but it’s a big pad save a two-goal swing. Though he looked somewhat human Saturday he still was excellent.