Post-Game #30: Dodging Furry Toys & Hat-tricks

Game Recap Dec 5

GAME RECAP 

BOXSCORE 

    • Friday’s start wasn’t what the Vees envisioned but true to form, the Vees righted the ship in the second period and then survived a late scare, to win again in Vernon. Friday’s 4-3 win is the Vees fourth against Vernon already this season and third at Kal-Tire Place, as they swept the three-game portion of the season series that was in Vernon. Now the season series shifts to Penticton for the final three games, when it resumes after the Christmas break on January 2nd.
    • Similar to their last visit to Vernon, as the Vees went down early but found a way to turn it around in the second half of the game. Including Friday’s results, the Vees have now outscored the Vipers 10-4 in the final two periods combined this season. The starts against Vernon necessarily haven’t been on point but the Vees seem to find their game in the second and third periods in this season series.
    • It was a tough start to the game Friday, as despite stringing together a solid opening five-minutes the Vees found themselves down 1-0 six-minutes in. Thomas Aldworth was a handful on Friday, scoring three times, including the Teddy Bear Toss goal. The furry toys starting flying at 6:23 when Aldworth finished-off a scrambling sequence in the Vees zone. It was a case of follow the bouncing puck, as Aldworth was standing in the right place, at the right time to receive the puck off the crossbar and he fired it right back at the Vees net. There was three Vipers shots in short succession before the third finally went it. Aldworth brought the puck in and his shot was kicked-out by Hunter Miska. That rebound went right out to TJ Dumonceaux who fired his shot off the crossbar. THAT rebound then shot over to Aldworth who finally put it in on the near-side; Miska was late coming over as he was searching for the puck. Tough break for the Vees, as they just had a great sequence in the offensive zone before the Vipers brought it back the other way for a 3-on-2 rush. Video of the goal below.
  • What was key for me in turning around the game in the Vees favour? Their penalty-kill right after the Vipers goal. Twenty-seconds after the Vipers went up 1-0, they were given a power-play after Cody DePourcq was called for holding. The penalty-kill came up with a big performance, as the Vipers failed to double their lead and that PK gave the Vees a confidence boost
  • If that PK was the turning point, Patrick Newell’s late first period goal was a 1-A. Smart by Newell to get his stick out on the fore-check to disrupt the D-to-D pass by the Vipers Mitch Oliver. Oliver dangerously attempted to throw the puck back across the front of his net and the result was what you would imagine. Newell knocked down the pass and then quickly stuffed the puck underneath a startled Jarrod Schamerhorn. The puck barely crossed the goal-line but credit the referee as he was right there, right on top of the net, to emphatically signal a goal. If there wasn’t a two-man referee system there’s no way that tying goal would have been seen.
  • Jarod Hilderman, goalless in his last 41 games dating back to January 24th of last season, rifled the puck off the post in the 2nd. Close man, close.
  • Lots to like from the Vees second period performance, as they spent a lot of time in the Vernon end and scored twice in just under a minute and a half. Patrick Sexton made a heckuva play at the offensive blue-line. Sexton knocked down a clearing attempt with his left skate, then fired a dart across the ice to Mitch Newsome in the right-circle. Newsome didn’t get his ‘A’ shot off but got enough on it, forcing it through Schamerhorn on the blocker-side. Must have felt nice for that Vees line to scored the go-ahead goal after being on the ice for the opening goal of the game. Overall, Newsome, Cam Amantea and Steen Cooper played really well in an energy role for the Vees.
  • A few shifts later the Vees followed that goal up with another, as Cody DePourcq, playing in his 200th career game, scored to make it 3-1. Dante Fabbro deserves a big pat on the back for the Vees third goal. Fabbro grabbed the puck in the centre circle, played give-and-go with Jack Ramsey at the offensive blue-line and worked his way down to the Vipers goal-line on the left-wing. Fabbro showed great vision and poise by slamming the breaks on and finding DePourcq at the far-post for the one-timer. Fabbro had to spin back to the puck after colliding with Vernon’s Luke Shiplo in the circle. A lot of the time, a player in that circumstance would blindly fire the puck back on net and scurry back to their position at the point. Fabbro spun back to the puck, jammed on the breaks and took the time to look for an open teammate. A nice hard pass on the tape of DePourcq who slammed the puck five-hole. When he scores, the Vees are 13-1-0-0 on the season.
  • Things were humming along for the Vees in that second period until another late, undisciplined offensive zone penalty. The Vipers didn’t have much going, down 3-1 and there wasn’t a whole lot of life in the building before the power-play. Credit Vernon for taking advantage of the opportunity, as Thomas Aldworth scored his second of the game with one-minute left in the second. Vernon quickly regrouped the puck at centre and Aldworth darted back into the Vees zone on the left-wing. His innocent looking shot from the circle eluded Hunter Miska and slipped through his legs. I was told after the game that the shot actually took a deflection off a Vees defenseman and that’s what fooled Miska; tough break.
  • A bit frustrating from the Vees perspective, as they were cruising right along, up two, late in the middle frame but they gave Vernon a lifeline. The biggest question going forward was how were the Vees going to respond in the third? Answer: quite well. Yes, a bad goal to give up but the most important thing was the Vees went out and got the next goal to seize the momentum. It could have been disastrous if the Vipers were the ones to score first in the third period but the Vees and particularly, Lewis Zerter-Gossage didn’t allow that to happen.
  • The Vipers caught a break with a fortunate bounce on their first goal in the first period and you could argue the same for the Vees on their fourth. Patrick Sexton’s intended pass for Jack Ramsey at the blue-line took a funny hop off the glass and it jumped out into the Vernon slot. Zerter-Gossage was first to the tumbling puck and had just enough time to settle it down and rip a shot over the glove of Schamerhorn. That not only restored a two-goal lead for the Vees but snapped LZG’s nine-game goalless drought. That was his first goal since November 8th against Nanaimo. Zerter-Gossage’s confidence had taken a bit of a hit recently but he kept with it and finally got back on the scoresheet Friday. What do struggling players do to help kick-start their game? Play well away from the puck. First take care of your own end of the ice and good things will happen at the other end. Zerter-Gossage had moved on a line with Ramsey and Riley Alferd and has been very defensively responsible the last few games. Nice to see that dedication pay off on Friday. Zerter-Gossage had a goal and two points and was named the game’s 2nd star. He was very good away from the puck, was physically involved and scored the game-winning goal. Assistant Coach Steve Cawley said on the post-game show the coaches had been pleading with LZG to shoot the puck more and hopefully his goal Friday hammers home the message.
  •  Did the Vees dominate? At times sure but for the most part no. Did they play well enough to win? Yep. Were they the better team at managing their mistakes? Yes. I think that’s the biggest take away from Friday’s game. Heading into the contest, you had the feeling, with two good teams going head-to-head, the team that was going to make the least amount of mistakes in their own end was going to come out on top. Yes, that sounds very cliché but it turned out to be the deciding factor. The Vees were pretty sound in their own end, they didn’t turn over many pucks nor did they give a lot for the Vipers to work with; they were kept to the outside for the most part. The Vees found a way to curb the Vipers offense against players not named Aldworth.
  • Another challenge awaits the Vees on Saturday, as they host the Powell River Kings at the SOEC. The Kings has won five of their last seven but are coming off of back-to-back overtime losses, including last night’s stunning 4-3 win by the Surrey Eagles. The Kings were already a motivated group coming into tonight’s action and now they’ll have that much more juice after that tough loss.
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About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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