Post-Game #22: Comeback in Vernon, Vees Back in Win Column

Game Recap Nov 10

GAME RECAP 

BOXSCORE 

  • Not the start the Vees wanted  but the finish didn’t disappoint. They gave up the lead just 16 seconds into the first but scored two power-play goals a minute apart in the third to rally for a 4-2 come from behind win. It was a sluggish start, as the Vees didn’t look comfortable in their own end but when it mattered and that’s the third, they found a way to turn things around and get the job done.
  • Power-play will be a big talking point about this game and the calls that went the Vees way and not the Vipers. Yes. special teams were a huge factor but the biggest story line for me was goaltending, at both ends.Hunter Miska was fantastic in net for the Vees especially in the second and Jarrod Schamerhorn was a rock for Vernon and faced a lot of Vees rubber in the second and third. Both goalies were on top of their game and both made some terrific saves but I would have to give an edge to Miska in the spectacular save department.
  • The save that everyone will be talking about is Miska’s arm save off of Vernon’s Luke Voltin. Voltin took a drop pass from the goal-line and looked to have an open net on Miska’s glove side but the goaltender quickly lunged out with his arm to knock down the one-timer and keep it out of the net. Arguably to date Miska’s best stop of the season and most crucial. Why? If that Voltin shot had gone in, it would have been 3-0 for the Vipers late in the second and that would be curtains. However, Miska makes a 10-bell save and the Vees soon after draw a penalty. What happens? They score on the man-advantage to cut the deficit to 2-1. If it wasn’t for that stop the game was likely out of reach. I’ll try to post the save onto YouTube Saturday as it’s worth a look. Voltin did try and avoid shooting it back in the middle of the net and away from Miska’s glove, but the goalie was still able to reach out and knock it down. That save was the proverbial “TSN Turning Point.”
  • Miska loves playing Vernon as by my count, that’s his third dazzling save off of a Viper this season. He robbed Mitch Meek back on October 25th with a pad-stack and then earlier on October 17th in Vernon against Luke Shiplo. That save back in Vernon was similar to Friday’s in the sense it was his glove arm knocking down the puck. Assistant Coach Steve Cawley said during the post-game show that Miska was solid on the weekend but didn’t see that “clutch” save from him that they saw so many times before. Well, fast-forward to Friday and Miska made several big-time saves and at times when the Vees were trailing and, or on their heels.
  • It was like watching two different power-plays in the first and second compared to the third. On the Vees first three attempts they couldn’t score with the man-advantage and gave up a short-handed marker early in the second. Move to the third and the power-play looked more purposeful and produced two goals. The power-play seemed to have a more direct, confident approach in the third period. They kept things simple, with a dash of skill and produced two key power-play goals. Sometimes they’re guilty of over thinking things.
  • Back to the start and it wasn’t what the Vees had drawn up. A bad turnover in the middle of the ice in the Vees zone was gobbled up by Luke Voltin. The Vees defenseman tried to go across the zone to his partner but put it right on the stick of the lurking Voltin. His quick shot surprised Miska and the Vees were a goal down early. Bizarre looking at the boxscore and seeing the Vipers getting two assists on that goal. Odd because the puck was put right on Voltin’s stick by a Vees defenseman. That all after a shoot-in into the Vees zone. Hmm.
  • The First period was one pretty much to forget for the Vees, Coach Cawley had a blunt assessment, calling it “awful” from his team and I would have to agree along those lines. As Coach Cawley and I chatted about post-game, the Vees were just not getting the puck out when they should have. Vernon was aggressive and physical and the Vees seemed to be turning pucks over because of it. Sometimes the glass-and-out or chip of the board play isn’t the worst thing in the world and the Vees will learn that. They showed signs of adapting to that style in the third, where they looked more comfortable in their own end. A lot of their third period success defensively came from just executing the simple play. Soft chips off the boards to open space proved to be very effective in getting the speed element back in their game.
  • How about the power-play? Three goals, two in third and those two came just sixty-seconds apart. BIG goal by Riley Alferd late in the second to get the Vees back into the game at 2-1. Then it was Demico Hannoun and Jack Ramsey scoring sixty-seconds apart. The power-play has now scored at least one power-play in eight straight games for the Vees. It’s now operating at 31 percent during the eight-game run. It’s not only about scoring but when they were scoring on the power-play. Alferd’s goal was huge, scoring late in the second to make it 2-1; mentally less of a hurdle coming back from 2-1, as opposed to 2-0. Then those back-to-back power-play goals by Hannoun and Ramsey, quickly turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Now that the power-play is scoring with regularity, I wonder if teams have to back off slightly to their in-your-face approach against the Vees?
  • Riley Alferd and Matt Serratore each had a goal and an assist in the win and line-mate Ramsey scored the game-winning goal; all together the three combined for three goals and five points. That line has shouldered nearly most of the Vees offensive responsibilities Friday and produced two key goals. How about the effort at the end by Serratore? Blocks one of two point-shots when Vernon was pressing late, and still has the wherewithal to take fore-check and  take the puck away from the Vernon forward at the other end of the ice and score into the empty-net.
  • A lot of fans in Vernon weren’t happy about the four-minute high-sticking call that went against the Vipers with five-minutes left in the third. From my angle it looked like Trevor Fidler’s stick caught Cam Amantea in the chin/mouth and the officials deemed the infraction drew blood. Four-minutes. I think it’s tough to take at the time given the circumstances but it is hard to argue that penalty.
  • One trio that didn’t have a point but had a heck of a game was Amantea, Steen Cooper and Cody DePourcq. The three ate up a lot of time in the offensive end and really got momentum on the Vees side in the third with a sustained shift in the Vipers end that eventually led to a power-play, which eventually led to the two power-play goals by Hannoun and Ramsey. That high-sticking call came just at the tail end of a really good shift by those three. The trio gave the Vees a kick in the rear-end when it was needed.
  • Pat Newell quietly extended his point streak with his assist on the Hannoun power-play goal. Great vision to hold it in the corner, spot Hannoun creeping in from the blue-line, then firing a perfect pass through skates and traffic and to the back-post. Newell now he has 15 points in his nine-game streak. I jokingly call him “The Kettle,” as he’s been on a slow boil ever since late October.
  • Bizarre stat: The Vees are now 7-1-0-0 when the opposition scores first. Never like to see your team get behind the eight ball but credit this group for finding a way, time and again, to get themselves back into games. Two road games going back to last Friday, where they’ve erased 2-0 deficits. Impressive.
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About frodgers

Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations for the Penticton Vees
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