Interview with Express Forward Brendan Lamont
Player Profile: Demico Hannoun
- I would argue the Vees first period Saturday in Salmon Arm was much better than their first period last night against Coquitlam, yet they scored twice Wednesday and were shutout in the first last Saturday. Hockey. The Vees had their troubles in the first period, as the Express had them bottled up on the breakout and in the neutral zone. That resulted in the Express outshooting the Vees 13-3 in the first 15 minutes of the game and 14-9 after the opening 20. However, when you looked at the scoreboard at the end of the first, it read 2-0 for the Vees.
- The reason why the Vees were ahead after 20 was goalie Brendan Barry. The 17-year-old was making his first start since December 17th and was very sharp. He stopped all 14 shots that came his way and made two great saves off of Corey Makin and Brett Supinski, who so happen to be first and second in the BCHL scoring race. Like I said, it was the Express pressuring, attacking early and Barry had to be on his toes right from the start. If Barry wasn’t playing the way he was, it could have easily been a one, if not two-goal lead for the Express in the first. I liked what Trevor Miller, my broadcast partner, said in the first intermission, as he stated the Vees simply “out-goaltended” Coquitlam early. Pretty bang on. Barry bettered his counterpart at the other end of the rink and his teammates were thankful for that.
- Great opening goal to the game, as Tyson Jost walked down the middle and wired a wrist’er post-and-in from the slot. Jost, even though was outnumbered, came right down the middle and snapped it on the blocker-side of the southpaw Chris Tail. Now, it was a quick strike offense, as Patrick Newell won a neutral zone face-off back to Dante Fabrro, who quickly snapped the headman pass up the gut to Jost. The only thing you could criticize the Express on, was maybe backing off too much on Jost, as he had time to fire that hard shot of his.
- I think the power-play came up with a goal late in the first, because the players were likely sick of me talking and writing about the need for it to get going. In all seriousness, it was great to see the power-play produce and at a critical time. I always mention and others do in the hockey world, that goals early and late in periods are big momentum swingers and that’s what we saw Wednesday. At that point the Vees were leading only 1-0 but not playing a great brand of hockey. I said on the broadcast a goal would be nice but even just two solid minutes of hockey would do; get some traction. Well the power-play had an answer and late in the man-advantage too, as Steen Cooper finished off a great passing play. Riley Alferd, Lewis Zerter-Gossage and Cooper were all involved on the goal. Alferd and LZG played catch before 77 fired a great feed across to Coop’. Cooper is feeling it, as he has only been held pointless once in his last five games. He now has three goals and five points since December 19th. After being snake-bitten for most of the season, Coop’ looks like a more confident guy with the puck and he showed it on his goal, not hesitating for a second, as he quickly one-timed the puck underneath the goalie’s arm.
- Late goals in periods are huge and it was evident Wednesday, as the Vees came out like gang-busters to start the second and scored an early goal. More on that in a moment but man, Coquitlam must have been scratching their head after the first. Played a pretty good period as any team has in the SOEC this year but found themselves down by two. Disheartening for sure.
- I think the first weighed on them (Express) a bit, as they Vees had the Express on their heels early in the second. Great vision by Mike Lee to go across the zone to Patrick Newell for the Vees third goal. Newell actually did a lot on the goal, as he had the presence of mind to go back to Lee with the puck and then slid into a soft spot in coverage on the far side.
- Though teams traded goals in the second (CQ power-play goal), I thought it was a vastly improved period of hockey from the Vees compared to the first. They cut the shots down from 14 to six and the scoring chances too. The Vees didn’t spend nearly as much time in their own end in the second as they did in the first. They definitely got back to playing “Vees hockey” in the middle frame. There was only really one scary moment for me in the second and that was a bit of a scramble in front of the Vees net but Barry did well to track the puck and eventually it was cleared out of harms way.
- Goals by Jack Ramsey and Mike Lee book-ended another Express power-play goal in the third. I thought the third followed pretty much the same script as the second. The Vees again were much better at managing the puck in their own end and didn’t allow the Express to have a whole lot of sustained pressure. We’ve seen it a lot from this team, slow starters on more than one occasion but have that good trait of getting better as the game grows older. That’s what you want from a team, to always improve as they game wears on. Troubling if it was the other way around, starting well but consistently fizzling out in the third.
- How big was that Ramsey goal? At the time it looked like window dressing, making it a three-goal game again but just two-minutes later the Express scored to make it 4-2. A lot of the heavy lifting on the goal was done by Riley Alferd, who quietly went about a three-point night (0-3-3). Alferd broke wide on the left-wing, looked to be circling the net before throwing a dart back to Ramsey in front for the quick one-timer on the front porch. Hey, if they don’t score there, it’s a 3-2 game with six-minutes left and who know’s how the final minutes of the third played out.
- What a moment for Mike Lee late. He FINALLY scored his first BCHL goal Wednesday with the Vees fifth goal and second on the power-play. The kid has been flirting with getting his first for quite some time and it finally all came together last night. Lee was firing the puck more, as it looked like he made a concentrated effort to get it on net Wednesday. Hey, before the game he did bump into me and say that he was going to score, “HEY FRASH! I’m getting one tonight, GUARANTEED!” Just think of an East Coast accent with that. A bit of a funny moment, as Lee himself didn’t know he scored right away, as the puck quickly went in and out of the net on his five-hole goal. He told me after the game he saw all his teammates coming to congratulate him and that’s when it dawned on him.
- I think the biggest takeaway from Wednesday was Vees depth shining through. Five goals from five different players and a couple of those players bumped some slumps. Ramsey scored his first in six games and as mentioned, Lee his first in 38. Six players had multi-point games and five had a goal and an assist each. Lee picked up his first points in three games, Ramsey his first in four, Newell his first in two and Alferd snagged three helpers after only having one assist in his previous nine.