- The key moment, the “EZ Rock Turning Point,” had to be the Jack Ramsey power-play goal inside the final second, yes second, of the first period. The Vees were on their fourth power-play of the first period and despite a lot of pressure and zone time they were up just a goal. If Langley got out of the period without any further damage who knows what the second period looks like. Great play off the face-off, as Riley Alferd pushed the puck to the net and Ramsey swooped in to shovel it past a surprised Bo Didur with just .3 seconds left on the clock. That’s a back-breaker, as they Vees go to the dressing room up two instead of just one and Langley is left wondering how the Vees scored.
- Miles Gendron put in another solid performance, as he scored the opening goal and with the scoring changes finished with two points. He showed a lot of confidence on his opening goal by racing down from the point to the puck on the wall than cutting to the net before firing a dart blocker-side. Some defensemen might hesitate to go and get a 50-50 puck on the boards in the offensive zone; Gendron might have earlier in the season. Great goal by “Gendy” as he made one nice move on the wall before quickly getting to the middle of the zone and then picking the far-side of the net; his shot froze Didur.
- The Vees took the phrase “Take what’s given to you,” to heart on Friday night. The Rivermen were very undisciplined in the opening period and quite frankly all night. The Vees were handed four power-plays just in the opening twenty-minutes. Their first power-play came just 16 seconds into the game, which isn’t easy for a team to get their special teams fired up that early. A team’s realistic goal is to get all their lines and defensive pairings into the game in the first five-minutes. Trying to operate an early power-play without getting your feet wet is more difficult than some might think. The Vees were facing the league’s best PK and they were having some issues getting a quality look on net in their first three power-plays. Langley was collapsing well and were blocking quite a few shots. Give Penticton credit for staying on track and finally breaking through on the power-play with that Ramsey goal in the dying seconds of the period.
- The first period was headlined by the Vees power-play but their penalty-kill should get a lot of credit for its performance in the second. During a six and a half-minute stretch early in the second, the Vees were hit with back-to-back-to-back penalties. They were forced to kill three straight Langley power-plays and they came up with a great performance. Langley largely didn’t have a sniff on their three chances and if the Ramsey goal in the first was the game changer, the Vees third goal was 1-A. Seconds after the Vees third penalty expired, Dakota Conroy forced a turnover in the centre ice circle and then hit Pat Newell on the left-wing. Newell made a nice move at the blue-line to make it a two-on-oh rush with Connor Chartier. Newell differed to Chartier who quickly went forehand-backhand on the goalie for his second. So after protecting a 2-0 on three straight Langley power-plays, the Vees score to make it 3-0 at the end of a penalty-kill shift. Conroy had just stepped out of the penalty-box before he striped the defenseman and Newell and Chartier were at the end of that penalty-kill shift. If Ramsey’s late first period goal wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back, then Chartier’s goal sure was. Proverbial nail in the coffin.
- After an 0-7 showing in Merritt last Saturday, it was encouraging to see the power-play flex its muscle in the third period. Langley again ran into penalty trouble and the Vees didn’t let them go unpunished. On an extended five-on-three power-play because of a proceeding four-minute high-sticking penalty, Jack Ramsey and Dakota Conroy scored fifty-six seconds apart to put the game out of reach. Conroy made it 4-0 after he redirected a slap-pass on the door step past the Langley goaltender. Demico Hannoun one-touched the pass from the corner to Conroy after he was fed from the point. Tick-tack-toe. Then on the next power-play shift, Ramsey got just enough of his one-timer from the left-circle to force it inside the post and past the Riv’ goaltender. Up until last week we were seeing that killer instinct on the power-play and it was a welcomed return to the Vees game last night. If teams are going to try to take liberties you have to make them pay and the Vees did Friday night.
- Lost in the shuffle of a 6-0 win was Brendan Barry’s 24-save shutout. No, he wasn’t taxed with a lot of quality chances but he made the saves he had to, and had a few nice ones mixed in. His best save was getting his shoulder on a one-timer by Langley’s Will Campion in the opening minutes of the second. Barry came across his crease and lunge out with his shoulder to keep that shot from screaming into the net. Hey, Langley scores there and it’s 2-1 with lots of game left. Barry is earning more and more trust from the Vees coaches with every start, as he’s now 8-0-0 with a minuscule goals-against average and a sparkling .925 save percentage. What a luxury to have your “back-up” goaltender start on the road and shutout the home team. Simply put, the kid’s not going to win on style points but he’s a winner and that’s all that matters. His wins aren’t layups either, as he’s played Langley, Merritt, West Kelowna and Victoria in his eight starts. He’s getting it done against the lesser likes but also the top teams too.
Scoring Changes from Friday:
1st Vees Goal: Gendron from Alferd and Chartier
3rd Vees Goal: Chartier from Newell and Conroy
6th Vees Goal: Amantea from Newsome and Gendron.
- So after the scoring changes are submitted, Riley Alferd finished with a game-high three points (all assists). Connor Chartier finished with a goal and an assist and he now has five points in his last two games. Dakota Conroy finished with another multiple-point game and Miles Gendron also had a goal and an assist.