Post-Game #24: Vees Find Extra Gear in 4-1 Win

Game Recap Nov 19



  • The Vees have been knocked down a few times but they’ve proven they’re never out of the fight. Langley came out swinging Wednesday, the Vees took some punches, but like a savvy prize-fighter turned it around in the late rounds. Langley came at the Vees early, were aggressive on the fore-check and made a point of throwing their weight around. Langley took advantage of a miscue up ice, turned the other way and scored on a nice three-on-one rush five-minutes in. However, the Vees picked themselves up off the canvas, counter-punched with a Matt Serratore goal, then they scored three over the final two periods to deliver the standing eight count and grab their third straight win.
  • The Rivermen’s depth players, guys who are there to play a heavy game, gave the Vees some headaches early. The trio of Hunter Anderson, Dante Hahn and Ryan Coulter were a handful early and so too was the pair of Zach Masson, Matthew Graham. They all were quick on the fore-check, got below the Vees goal-line and leaned on their D. Early the Vees defense were challenged to move the puck quickly because of the physical nature of the Rivermen. But hockey is a game of adjustments and we’ve seen the Vees adjust well to what the opposition throws at them. Wednesday wasn’t any different.
  • It’s getting to be clock work, how the Vees use the first five to 10 minutes to feel out their opposition, to get a sense of what they’re doing. Then after that, as the game moves into the final two periods they get stronger. Evert coach wants their team to get better as the game progresses and not peak or tail off; easier said then done. So far, the Vees are an exception, as more often than not, as the game grows longer they get better. First period was tight, a 1-1 game and the shots were 10-8 Vees. Move to the second, the Vees score early and again late, pressure Langley and take a 3-1 lead into the intermission. Shots were 13-7 for Penticton but the Vees had the decided edge in territorial play. Another goal and 13 more shots in the third and when the dust settled the Vees won 4-1 and outshot Langley 26-13 over the final two periods.
  • Matt Serratore has a knack of scoring timely goals. Just less than five-minutes after Langley opened the scoring, Serratore ties it when both teams were skating four aside. Serratore looked to have stolen the puck from teammate Riley Alferd. Alferd was on his backhand when Serratore was right there for the interception and or quick drop pass. Not only did that tie the game but came right after the Vees took themselves off the power-play. Instead of sagging and possibly getting behind 2-0, the Vees got back on their toes and tide it. Impeccable timing by Serratore.
  • Vees really turned the tables in the second, which saw them spend quite a bit of time in the Langley end. Their cycle game, moving the puck below the goal-line and in the corners was very effective. The Vees started to stretch out the Rivermen and got them chasing with the work they did in deep. Even I at times had a hard time keeping track of where the puck was and who had it down-low. That time of possession continued to pile up and you could see the Rivermen starting to tire. Hey, both goals in the second came off the rush and when the Rivermen were trying to get tired bodies off the ice.
  • First, Alferd was sent in on the left-wing and as he got to the left-circle he went five-hole on Bo Didur. Langley was racing back to change in the neutral zone and were caught. The Vees second goal happened in a similar fashion. The Vees saw Langley changing and Patrick Newell was hit with the puck down the left-wing. Newell played setup man, firing to Tyson Jost in the middle and he then went roof. Langley again tired, were caught with numbers near the bench and Newell had plenty of room and he took advantage.
  • Though both second period goals were scored off the rush, they were the result of extended work down deep in the Langley end. Just look at the Vees second goal, as moments before, Demico Hannoun hit the cross-bar then the post. The Vees capitalized when the Rivermen had tired bodies on the ice. Good teams take advantage of the opportunities that are presented.
  • One area the Vees took over in was the line match ups. I thought Jost, Hannoun and Newell did a good job against Marcus Vela, Gage Torrel and Justin Szeto. Those three seemed to never get out of their zone when that Vees line was out there. Sometimes offense is the best defense and the Vees offense kept the Rivermen big guns pretty quiet. Can’t do much damage when you don’t have the puck.
  • Post-game, Assistant Coach Nick Fuher commented on how there was no real weak link in the Vees chain Wednesday. Cam Amantea,  Cody DePourcq and Steen Cooper ate up a lot of time in the offensive end. They ate up significant minutes in those “Greasy” areas, where no one really wants to go. Tough minutes.
  • How about the “US line,” as Riley Alferd, Jack Ramsey and Matt Serratore combined for three goals and seven points in the win. They are red-hot and Alferd took over the team’s scoring lead with his goal and three points Wednesday; he now has 16-12-28 for the outright lead over Lewis Zerter-Gossage.
  • New line of Mitch Newsome, Lewis Zerter-Gossage and newbie Connor Chartier also spent a lot of time around the net and in deep on the cycle. Like the Vees other lines they weren’t shy at leaning on Langley’s D-core and pestered them whenever they didn’t have the puck.
  • The Vees know know how to come back, as they’re 8-1-0-0 now when being scored on first. In saying that they’re a hard team to come back on. Now 17-1-0-0 when leading after two periods. Almost automatic when this team has a lead.

About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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