Post-Game #35: Feisty Vees win Final Home Game of ’14

GAME RECAP 

BOXSCORE 

  • Well, the Vees did something they couldn’t do in the previous two meetings with the Warriors and that’s hold a third period lead. In the previous two games, the Warriors came back from 2-1 and 3-2 third period deficits in their last two trips to Penticton. Great to see the Vees add an early goal in the third to give themselves some breathing room and then hold the Warriors at bay.
  • That Dakota Conroy goal was so crucial because of the previous history with the Warriors. Early goal, coming just four-minutes into the third and it was shot of confidence the Vees needed after those last two dramatic losses to the Warriors. Conroy tracked down a loose puck in the deep slot and let go a wrist-shot that eluded Scott Patton. Instead of griping the stick, holding on to a 3-2 lead, the Vees allowed themselves to take a breath and relax-somewhat.
  • How about that first period? The coaching staff wasn’t happy with the effort level on Wednesday and challenged the team prior to the game. The response was immediate, as the Vees showed a lot of jump off the get go. They had a lot of energy and spent a lot of time in the Warriors end. The first goal was a good example of the determination the Vees had on Friday. Pat Newell took it hard to the net but was stopped by Scott Patton, who made two excellent saves. But the Vees stayed with it and got some luck too, as LZG threw the puck back in front and it was put it by the Warriors defenseman.
  • What was key for me wasn’t just the Vees scoring first but scoring again. Nothing is worse than scoring and then doing nothing to build on the momentum. The Vees didn’t fall in that trap, as they drew a penalty and then scored on the power-play. Again, determination, as Cody DePourcq scored with just six-seconds left in the man-advantage. Great hand-eye coordination showed by the Co-Captain, as he batted the fluttering puck out of mid-air and over Patton’s arm. Did laugh to myself when there was a small protest coming from the West-K bench. Really? Arguing a high-stick? C’maaaan.
  • Speaking of responses, great to see the Vees leaders do just that and lead on Friday. DePourcq scored the second goal and fellow co-captain Patrick Sexton scored the third goal. Great vision by Zerter-Gossage to spot Sexton creeping into the left-circle and he hammered a one-timer on the far side. Talk about timing, as that was Sexton’s first goal in 26 regular season games, going back to February 14th of last season. That goal was big, because West-K had just made it 2-1 five-minutes earlier. The Vees get a two-goal lead back but more importantly momentum heading into the second. Sexton is one of the best shutdown defensemen in the BCHL, a throwback player. Great to see him chip in offensively tonight and when guys like him score, it’s a huge boost for the team.
  • Lots going on in that first period, as the Vees scored three times and there was some fireworks at the tail end of the frame. The emotion boiled over after Mitch Newsome threw a hit on West Kelowna’s Tanner Campbell. This just eight seconds after the Vees scored. There was a penalty being called on Newsome, the hit deemed high, but before the infraction could be called, Newsome and Mac Ferner engaged in some fistacuffs. Great scrap between the two, as both threw some heavy right-hand bombs but neither buckled. I didn’t know Newsome had that in him but he showed he can go toe-to-toe with one of the toughest players in the BCHL. Now, I didn’t see the hit, as I was busy trying to write down the scoring play in my statbook, so I can’t comment on the play in question. The interesting thing was Newsome was allowed to stay in the game, as Ferner’s instigator penalty apparently wiped out his game misconduct. Newsome did have to sit in the penalty-box for 17 minutes, serving his two-minute minor, five-minute major penalty and 10 minute misconduct.
  •  Tough break for West Kelowna, not only losing Ferner for the rest of the game but possibly longer. It appeared Ferner either hurt his hand or shoulder during the scrap, as he was favouring his arm as he skated to the visitors tunnel. The Warriors fortunately had seven defensemen dressed but that still didn’t soften the blow of losing Ferner.
  • The second period played off of the first, well the first 10 minutes anyway, as it was a bit of track meet. The two teams did settle in defensively in the latter half of the second, as the middle of the ice was harder to get to. That’s how the last 30 minutes of the game went, still a great pace but a lot of the play was kept to the outside. Got to credit the Vees for keeping the Warriors big guns relatively quiet on Friday. Yeah, they out shot the Vees and had their chances but the Vees never let West Kelowna take over any part of the game. Yep, there were scrambles around the net but only a couple of times did those scrambles have you holding your breath.
  • Staying on the defense for a moment, it was a much improved performance by the Vees inside their blue-line. Much better with the puck on their stick, as they made quick reads and got the puck out cleanly for the most part. When they didn’t have the puck, they did a good job of keeping the Warriors on the perimeter or up high. Not a lot of shots came in “Grade A” areas. Also, as usual, there was some timely blocked shots and the defense has to share the credit with the forwards. Didn’t see that much running around by the Vees in their own end Friday.
  • Hunter Miska’s performance in goal was pretty darn good, as looking back on it he probably should have grabbed one of the three stars. He tracked the puck very well and there were quite a few saves he had to make when the puck was dancing around his net. One sequence in the second stood out for me, as he had the sense to duck and not let the puck bank off his helmet, when it came back in front off the glass. He made the initial stop, the puck bounced back in front and then he got the rebound too. Another great save was a lunging blocker stop late in the third when the Warriors were pressing. Miska timed it perfectly, sliding across to his blocker-side, thwarting Liam Blackburn at the post. Miska lunged out and knocked the puck away from Blackburn who was trying to force it in with any part of his body.
  • Lewis Zerter-Gossage, is starting to get back to the player we saw at the beginning of the year. Played big and had some great puck control throughout the game. It seemed like he and Pat Newell had something going every time they entered the offensive zone. LZG’s confidence is growing game by game and you can see that by some of the moves he makes when he’s in close quarters; the puck is on a string.
  • OK, I saw something from the Warrior’s Jason Cotton that you usually only see in video games. Cotton, twice, turned over his stick, putting the toe of his blade on the top of the puck and then spun the puck around his body before putting it through his legs; all in one fluid motion and off the rush. He did it in the second and in the third and he made it look easy. Impressive.
  • Also, have to tip my cap to the Warriors fan bus. They were noisy from start to finish, regardless of the score and contributed to a great atmosphere. They forced the Vees fans to be louder and it created an awesome enviroment; felt like a playoff game
  • IMG_0378
  • Now, this is just a random of picture of Vees Assistant Coach Steve Cawley talking to the referee at the end of the first period. I just had to put this on here. Coach Cawley having a friendly chat with the ref. Maybe discussing holiday plans?
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About CBeauchemin

Director of Broadcasting & Communication for the Penticton Vees
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